The Farewell

Director: Lulu Wang
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 1.0

Billi (Awkwafina), who's living in NYC and not having much luck getting free money from the Guggenheim Foundation (aww!), finds out her grandmother Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) is dying from lung cancer, but Chinese custom says that you have to lie to the person and not tell him/her (they don't have HIPAA over there), so Billi and her family go to visit her for the last time using the fib that they're only in town to attend a relative's wedding.  Every scene consists of the characters giving the side eye to each other whenever Nai Nai's health is brought up and then acting despondent, so it's not exactly subtle (oftentimes it's a bit cornball-ish) ... plus, it's ethically questionable: the argument is that you should not inform someone they are dying of cancer in the off chance it doesn't kill them right away.  The nod and wink to the Chinese government is apparent - even Nai Nai says "you can't criticize China" - because, as we all know, they have very clean hands.  Look at those cold, monochromatic buildings!  What a charming and considerate nation free of human rights violations!