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The Farewell

  • 20-09-2019 9:59pm
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,664 CMod ✭✭✭✭

    I just loved this. Big-hearted, warm, funny, devastating and majestically shot family drama from director Lulu Wang.

    Absurdly great performances from many of those involved, but Shuzhen Zhao puts in what's very much an immediate classic performance as Nai Nai. What's great is how inventive the camera work is to amplify the cast's work. There's loads of scenes around dinner tables shot with lively details or movement that bring a brilliant energy to what could have just been straightforward dialogue scenes. Lots of clever, unusual framing choices throughout that help bring lots of the subtle scene-setting to the fore. General resemblances to the likes of Ozu are there, but this paves its own path stylistically.

    Great use of language as well. It's a multi-lingual film - Chinese, English and a little bit of Japanese - but the language barriers between individual characters are used to lovely effect in many scenes. Language in The Farewell can be a connection, a barrier, a weapon, a private space. The differing levels of understanding of situations further electrifies proceedings.

    But really it's just a delightful film to get lost in. It's quirky without being cloying; it's emotional without being overbearing; and it's funny while being deeply respectful towards the very different cultures on display (Wang's obviously more attuned to the cultural nuances and sensitivities than an 'outsider' would be).