Lulu Wang’s low-key slice-of-life The Farewell debuted at Sundance earlier this year, and from the description in the program guide, it sounded like typical indie fare. “Troubled soul finds a renewed purpose in life after reconnecting with her roots” may be the most common indie premise — just edging out “hapless schmuck witnesses a crime” and “sensitive artist struggles to be heard.”
But The Farewell left Sundance audiences enraptured, and for good reason. The movie doesn’t have a twisty plot; and yet at nearly every turn, with nearly every choice Wang makes, The Farewell defies expectations.
At the start of the film, we meet a 30-ish, New York-based artist named Billi, who’s going through a rough stretch. The friend whose apartment she’s subletting needs her to move out. Her application for a Guggenheim fellowship has been denied. And just when things couldn’t seem much worse, her parents let her know that her beloved grandmother back in China — her Nai Nai — is dying of cancer. So Billi decides to do something drastic. She converts every asset she has into cash, and flies to China to say goodbye to her grandma — even though her mother and father have expressly asked …read more
Source:: The Week – Entertainment