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The Farewell

The Farewell  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Does The Farewell go in the space capsule?

    • ✅ Farewell, off to the stars!
      1
    • ❌ Let's not tell her we're leaving.
      2


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Amy & Paul say hello to 2019’s Chinese-American family reunion The Farewell! They praise director Lulu Wang’s use of motion, discover how Awkwafina won the dramatic lead role despite being best known as a rapper and comedian, and learn about the real fake mourners common at Chinese funerals. Plus: What’s that familiar song covered in the end credits?

This is the sixth episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; next week’s film is Home Alone! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall

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I like this movie, but it's a little early to be judging a movie from 2019 for a place on the all-time list. I have no idea how this is going to age, where Lulu Wang's career is going to go, what it might influence, etc.

My personal feeling (after two viewings) is that it's good but not great. I'm not sure if Wang is quite a great director yet. The visuals are handsomely and tastefully rendered, but I sense her defaulting to "middle-distance shots of people are artistic" a little too often, more so than is actually necessary for the dramatic or thematic content of the scene. I'm also not sure that shooting the film in 2.35:1 scope was the right call; I think this story would have benefitted from a more intimate 16:9 frame. The wider frame makes it feel a little distant to me, in a way I'm not sure was intended.

Is that all a bit nitpicky? Yes, it is. I think the writing and performances are very good. But if we're talking about shooting this into space as an all-time great then I've got to be a bit nitpicky. It's certainly far from the first culture-clash East-West family drama out there.

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I'm a big fan of this movie. I did find my rewatch of it for the pod... it was a little slow having seen it before. I wasn't quite as entertained by it as the first time. But I still think it's great, and that makes me very stoked to see what the director does next. She could easily outdo this movie though, as good as it is. Which is exciting.

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