Awkwafina Stars in Unique Chinese Family Tale of End-of-Life Trickery.
DIRECTED BY LULU WANG/MANDARIAN/2019
My grandmother and I had a close relationship growing up, one of the reasons I did not want to watch this film (worried I’d be in tears the entire time). Instead of the presumably sorrowful watch I thought I’d gotten myself into, came a touching, coming-of-age film featuring fantastic performances most notably by Awkwafina, now a Golden Globe winner.
As granddaughter Billi (Awkwafina) struggles to accept her family’s decision to hide a terminal illness from Grandma Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), she also grapples with her personal life after losing out on a fellowship opportunity. Some of the most poignant scenes occur between Billi and Nai Nai, making for an interesting dynamic as one character holds more cards than the other. And I must say, I left this film rather light and positive, a rare feeling after some of my recent screenings.
It’s no wonder such a small film has made such big waves, leaving viewers around the world mesmerized at director Lulu Wang’s work. Good luck at the Academy Awards.