Skip To Content

    "The Farewell" Just Beat A Major "Avengers: Endgame" Record, And People Are Calling It The Best Movie Of 2019

    "The Farewell entertained me, gave me love, and destroyed me!"

    The Farewell only hit theaters last weekend, but both critics and moviegoers are already calling it one of the best films of 2019.

    A24

    And you know what? I saw it, and can confirm that they're ABSOLUTELY right.

    i just wanna say i’m still crying from #TheFarewell that was hands down the best film i’ve seen all year

    Going to see Best Movie of 2019 THE FAREWELL for the third time tonight.

    The Farewell is the best movie that came out this year. Movies can stop coming out because they won't be as good 10 out of 10 Chinese grandma exercises.

    Here's the synopsis: "In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, US-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself."

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    "To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations and proprieties, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken."

    This wonderful movie has already broken a ton of uncharted ground in Hollywood. For one, Lulu Wang wrote and directed The Farewell, making the film one of very, very few US box office hits helmed by an Asian-American woman. She based the intimate flick on her own family's experience.

    Speeeaking of women of color breaking barriers in Hollywood, Crazy Rich Asians breakout star Awkwafina plays the lead role of Billi. When's the last time you've watched an Asian-American woman play the dramatic lead role in a US film? Exactly.

    There's also an all-Asian cast comprised of phenomenal actors, like Diana Lin (Billi's mom Jian), Jiang Yongbo (Billi’s uncle Haibin), and Zhao Shuzhen (grandma Nai Nai). Each performance is a masterclass in RANGE.

    A24 / Via giphy.com

    Sure, 2018's Crazy Rich Asians also featured an all-Asian and Asian-American cast, but before that, no major US studio film had had such a cast since 1993's Joy Luck Club (that's a 25-year span!)

    The Farewell's only being shown in four LA and NYC theaters right now (and nine more this coming weekend), because the distribution company A24 opted for a limited release to build buzz before the nationwide release on Aug. 2.

    But the good news is that this move helped the indie darling surpass Avengers: Endgame's record of biggest theater average of the year!

    #TheFarewell generated $351,330 when it opened in four venues, beating out #AvengersEndgame for the biggest theater average of the year https://t.co/gTpAz2CeAf

    So, how did a small indie family drama showing at only four theaters manage to beat a record held by the second best-selling movie EVER? Well, people showed up on opening weekend!

    We came all the way to #NYC for opening weekend of #TheFarewell. This is how we felt about missing out on tix for tonight’s Q&A with director @thumbelulu and the illustrious, multitalented @awkwafina. Well, the delightful film itself was well worth it. Go see it stat!

    Not only was every theater packed, but also some shows were even bought out by generous supporters, like US Olympian ice dancer medalists and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani...

    Thank you to everyone who came to our screening of THE FAREWELL last night! So amazing to see a theater full of people experience the film. Laughter, tears... very special! @thefarewell #TheFarewell

    ...and international pop star Tiffany Young, who purchased an afternoon screening for all of her LA-based fans.

    Thank you @tiffanyyoung for reserving the entire theatre for @thefarewell 2:10pm showtime at @LTLosAngeles! Let’s make this #GoldOpen happen! 🔥🔥🔥 #TheFarewell

    As for the reviews, Rotten Tomatoes' rated The Farewell 100% fresh by dozens of critics.

    Rotten Tomatoes / Via rottentomatoes.com

    Now, I'm not gonna dive further into the film, because I reeeally want you to go see it. But just know that The Farewell has made a lot of moviegoers feel SEEN, especially Chinese-Americans and those within the Asian Diaspora who've rarely, if ever, seen themselves, their families, their cultures, and their experiences represented in such a nuanced and normalized way on the big screen.

    Sundance / Via giphy.com

    And on that note, I'll leave you with 22 tweets that perfectly articulate the deep resonance and wide-reaching impact of the masterpiece that is The Farewell:

    1.

    I never thought I’d see a version of my family so authentically in an American movie screen. The film resonated from the very first frame. #TheFarewell destroyed me. Beautifully written and directed by @thumbelulu

    2.

    Was having complicated feelings about seeing #TheFarewell and as I was drawing this comic, I got word that my grandmother had passed away. I’m sitting in my seat after crying my eyes out from watching the movie. I’m glad i watched it. I’m sad I couldn’t say farewell.

    3.

    today a man yelled “don’t come near me you F-ing ugly Jap” at my mom, me & my daughter as we got to the farmers market. tonight i saw #thefarewell & cried tears of pain & love for my fellow asians. i’ve struggled w feeling “asian enough” today i feel nothing but pride @awkwafina

    4.

    Thank you @tiffanyyoung, I brought my parents along since it’s 90% in mandarin. My dad doesn’t cry but my old man was in tears by the end of the movie! My parents also laughed until tears formed. Thanks, I’ll cherish these memories with my parents! #TheFarewell #TiffanyYoung

    5.

    @thumbelulu’s #TheFarewell gave me all the feels ❤️ this is my halmeoni and she always stuffed a $20 into my pocket, “Go! Eat.” then she’d hide in the bathroom and sneak a cigarette. 😂 I miss her! 😭

    6.

    1/ i watched @thefarewell knowing i'd cry. not just bc it's a film about family + loss but bc it hits so close to home. like @thumbelulu my family's also from changchun and last fall, they found my grandma has cancer on her bladder and liver. we've been hiding the diagnosis since

    7.

    Congrats @thumbelulu and the entire @thefarewell team! It's a beautiful thing to experience seeing such fleshed out, nuanced moments of hilarious awkwardness and brutal honesty about people that look like you, by people that look like you (1/3)

    8.

    Just watched #TheFarewell, and it had so many moments of cultural specificity, I don’t even know where to begin. Grab a Chinese-American friend and be ready to cry????

    9.

    I saw @thefarewell. I saw laughter, tears, my family, myself, memories long buried, and most importantly, us... flawed, earnest, human. A thank you isn’t enough @thumbelulu. I can’t wait to see more of your stories. More of our stories. #thefarewell @A24

    10.

    #TheFarewell is the perfect film for Asian Americans who grapple with their clashing identities of east and west. So heartwarming. Please watch 😭😭

    11.

    #TheFarewell was wonderful and resonated with me deeply as someone with immigrant parents and caught between two cultures. https://t.co/xL8YUgORaj

    12.

    Just saw #TheFarewell today. Will need to go see it again tomorrrow as I missed some scenes bc I couldn’t see past my tears. From a Changchun native, I just wanted to say to @thumbelulu that you have captured lightning in a bottle. ❤️❤️❤️

    13.

    There is a sense of pride in sharing about the life they’ve made in the new country, but also a sense of melancholy in not being able to call the place that was once familiar to them their home anymore. (2/2) #TheFarewell #goseeit #RepresentationMatters

    14.

    @thefarewell is one of the best diaspora films I’ve seen in quite a while - it captures how the process of migration transforms truth regimes, breaks/ruptures social ties, and engenders a displacement in both time and space. Stellar performances all around #TheFarewell

    15.

    #TheFarewell entertained me, gave me love and destroyed me! Genuinely might make reconsider my top movies OF ALL TIME! Trust me: you haven’t seen ANYTHING like this. GO SEE IT! Got my 5 star vote at #FilmFleadh31 #GalwayFilmFleadh @thumbelulu @awkwafina

    16.

    Jeez @thefarewell why you gotta tug on my heart strings, rip them apart, burn them to ashes, and do it all over and over again like that?! Literally made me face my worst fears (and prob many Asian Americans’) & it was a total sobfest. So brilliant @thumbelulu #TheFarewell

    17.

    Just watched #TheFarewell and Jesus, I have never cried so hard in a movie. At one point I wiped my nose and smeared the snot on my arm because my clothes were clean, and my skin was like glimmering in the dark.

    18.

    #TheFarewell hit me hard in the first gen feels. Everyone needs to go see it

    19.

    I laughed more than I cried & loved every min of #TheFarewell w Dir Q&A! Thank you @thumbelulu for not compromising your story to Hollywood. You told a truly Asian American story. I saw my fam in this more than any movie ever. So glad I called my mom before the show #AsianPride https://t.co/VNa7rOnorr

    20.

    This is the face of someone who just cried for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. More concise thoughts on #TheFarewell coming after I fully process my emotions. (@thumbelulu @awkwafina)

    21.

    Can't wait for #TheFarewell to open wider so that I can see it in a local theater. I have a feeling I'm going to be #emotional 😭 as I had to keep the terminal #cancer diagnosis from my late mom too. But I think my mom knew! #Moms 💕 always know! #GoldOpen @thefarewell @A24 https://t.co/BG1xoellL0

    LIVE FOOTAGE OF ME READING THOSE TWEETS:

    OWN / Via giphy.com

    So, are you gonna watch "The Farewell"? Have you watched it already? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!!!

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form