“The Farewell” (A24)
By Catholic News Service
Cultural difference lead to family tension as a young Chinese American aspiring writer (rapper Awkwafina) learns that her much-loved grandmother (Shuzhen Zhou) has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and that her parents (Tzi Ma and Diana Lin), along with her other relatives, intend to keep the dying woman in the dark about her condition, a decision with which she vehemently disagrees.
As the clan gathers in the city of Changchun, ostensibly for the hastily arranged wedding of the protagonist’s cousin (Chen Han), but in reality to have a last visit with the matriarch, writer-director Lulu Wang, basing her film on personal experiences, skillfully lightens her thoughtful drama by combining it with a comedy of manners. The delicate result is deep in insight and rich in emotion.
Probably acceptable for mature adolescents. Mostly in Mandarin. Subtitles. Nonscriptural religious practices, possible cohabitation, at least one crude term, brief mature references. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.