Casi Moss / A24

The Farewell’s story—about a Chinese American family keeping a terminal cancer diagnosis from their grandmother—might be familiar to you from its 2016 incarnation as a particularly good segment on This American Life. Now writer/director Lulu Wang’s The Farewell expands into a stunning portrait of a complicated, caring family that spans two cultures and continents. It might sound like kind of a downer, but I promise, at least half of the time I was laughing as Wang’s proxy Billi (Awkwafina, showing us yet another level of depth to her acting ability) and her richly characterized family gathered around their Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) for a sudden, farcical wedding. I didn’t expect such visual delights from cinematographer Anna Franquesa Solano, who peppers the film with truly lovely natural light. This should have come out around a holiday, so you could see it with your family, but don't wait until then to see it.

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