‘The Farewell’: Love, lies and family ties

"The Farewell"
Diana Lin, left, and Awkwafina in a scene from the movie “The Farewell.”

“The Farewell,” a film about a Chinese American woman with an all-Asian cast and dialogue that is largely in Mandarin, has surpassed “Avengers: Endgame” with the largest per-theater box office average this year.

Starring Awkwafina — the scene-stealer from “Crazy Rich Asians” — the heartfelt dramedy provides the latest evidence of the power of a key underserved audience. But “The Farewell” also tells a universal story of family, love and grief that anyone can relate to.

When filmmaker Lulu Wang pitched the semi-autobiographical story of her family’s efforts to keep her grandmother from learning of her Stage 4 cancer diagnosis, studio executives pushed for a white love interest, and a Chinese version of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’

But Wang stuck to her vision, and refused to resort to a predictable storyline.


Will this tale of an American immigrant family be the indie hit for the summer of 2019?

Mark Olsen (@IndieFocus) talks with Times film critic Justin Chang (@JustinCChang) and Times film reporter Jen Yamato (@jenyamato).