The Farewell

I went to go see The Farewell this weekend. There’s a lot of excitement around the movie and everyone in my circle from work, to friends, to social media has been hyping up this movie, so I was really looking forward to it.

Without giving too much away, the plot of the movie is that Bili’s grandma is sick, and it’s common in Chinese culture to keep the illness a secret from the person who’s sick, as to not cause them concern. Bili, played by Awkwafina, grew up in America and struggles with this custom since she thinks it’s wrong.

The movie does a great job having the characters discuss the differences between the two cultures (Chinese and American) because neither sides ever state that one’s better than the other. It’s all about perspective and each side has its pros and cons.

There’s a really short scene that stood out to me. It’s where Bili’s dad is asking Bili about work-related stuff. Unbeknownst to him, Bili is struggling in that regard and while her dad is just trying to have a nice conversation, it irritates Bili, so she responds in a curt manner. She eventually ends the conversation very quickly.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a similar conversation with my parents, not just about work but about any aspect of my life that I might be having an issue with the time. And it’s not because I don’t want to have a nice conversation with them, because I do. I wasn’t really sure why I was always “triggered” when my parents brought these topics up until I came across this article.

In the article, the author mentions how her mom didn’t want to tell her family about the diagnosis not because her mom was worried about being a burden, but because if she mentioned it, it would be “real” and she would start having to worry about it.

And honestly, that sums up how I feel every time I try to keep something away from my family. I don’t want to worry them, but mostly, I don’t want to confront it and worry about it myself. Which I guess, is something I need to work on.

But back to the movie!

It was a great movie and I really enjoyed it. The movie kind of feels like real life in the way. It’s not a perfect story that moves along quickly from scene to scene. There are scenes that are quiet, still, slow, messy, awkward, and cringy. The movie also uses various camera perspectives so viewers can see what Bili is seeing. I wish there was a bit more character development or background, but I’m thinking the movie decided to just focus on the family as a whole instead of developing each individual character.

Definitely worth a watch if it’s showing in a theater near you.


  • heather noire
    July 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I love your review on this movie. I heard a lot about it and I think it looks really interesting πŸ™‚

  • Julie Ann Lozada
    July 21, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    This movie sounds interesting but I think it’s a heavy drama.

  • Eena
    July 21, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    I’ve actually never heard of this movie so it was really interesting to read about it! And I totally feel Bili on being short with parents when discussing stuff I don’t want to talk about – I’ve definitely gone through that!

    ☼ Eena | cabin twenty-four

  • Melissa Kacar
    July 22, 2019 at 1:28 am

    I never heard of this movie! But the plot seems so interesting and I loved reading your review and the way you connected with it! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  • Meaghan
    July 22, 2019 at 2:40 am

    I want to watch this movie so bad! I’ll definitely have to bring a few tissues, I know I’ll let a few tears loose. D:

    I also have felt the way you and Bili have about parents asking me about work (or school, in my case). I do want to let them know what’s going on, but it’s frustrating to have to talk about school for me since I absolutely hate school. I hate talking about it, I hate going, I just hate it. And my responses about it sound kind of mean, but it’s not that I mean to. I just want to end the conversation right then and there lol.

    • Mai Nguyen
      July 22, 2019 at 7:49 am

      I know!! I’m just trying to have a nice relaxing time, why do people bring up topics that stress me out ?

      • Meaghan
        July 23, 2019 at 6:02 pm

        This is what I tell my family every time they try to bring it up hahaha. Great minds. πŸ™‚

  • The Exclusive Beauty Diary
    July 22, 2019 at 4:40 am

    The movie looks very interesting. I like watch movies where I can learn about different culture. For me was very surprising that people don’t talk about diagnosis, because it will be “real”. I can understand that, but in my culture people talking about everything, not only family members, but “whole city” and that is something that I don’t like.

    New Post –

  • Elisa
    July 22, 2019 at 5:18 am

    Thank you for the review! It must be so interesting!
    xx Elisa | DIY & LIFESTYLE BLOG

  • Mica
    July 22, 2019 at 7:27 am

    I’ve heard goof things about this movie but I haven’t been to see it yet – we have so many movies we want to see and so little time to see them all with two toddlers, haha!

    Hope that you had a great weekend πŸ™‚ I just posted my weekday wear linkup, I’d love you to join! πŸ™‚

  • Liz
    July 22, 2019 at 9:07 am

    It is such a shame I haven’t heard about this movie. Thank you so much for review, it sounds very interesting!

    Lots of love β™₯ January Girl

  • Grace Louise
    July 22, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I haven’t heard of this film but it looks super interesting and your review was so well done Hun!! x

    Grace Louise ||

  • Natalia
    July 22, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I really want to watch it now, understanding different cultures can be helpful to better communication and comprehension for solving problems.


  • Thea Scott
    July 22, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I’d never actually heard of this movie until now! It sounds great and I’ll make sure to keep an eye open for if it’s being shown anywhere near me — really lovely read xxx

    Thea ||

  • SundayDahlias
    July 22, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Ooo I’ve been wanting to check out this movie! Glad to hear that you liked it!

  • Rowena
    July 22, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Good to hear your thoughts on this film. I’m hoping to go see it next weekend. I heard that the director and writers did a really fantastic job of tackling and giving an accurate representation what it’s like to straddle between Asian and Western culture.

    Yes I do plan to write about my eyebrow microblading experience after I get my touchup!

    • Mai Nguyen
      July 22, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      Yes! It was so relatable of seeing the older generation go, “This is how we do things in China.” and Bili arguing back that certain things would not be accepted in America. It’s very reflective of a lot of my arguments with my parents growing up.

      Yay, I look forward to the write up :)!

  • Allie Mackin
    July 22, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Oh this sounds really good. Hopefully I can find it near me. It seems all theaters play the same 5-6 movies. All for kids and teens…

    Allie of

    • Mai Nguyen
      July 22, 2019 at 7:38 pm

      I saw it at the Angelika theatre in SoHo if you’re near there!

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    July 22, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I feel I do this sometimes, too. It just seems a little less real until you actually tell someone. This looks like a movie I’d really enjoy!


  • sonia // daring coco
    July 22, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Wow, that is a really interesting point because I know I do this myself and tend to bottle a lot up in the process. I never really realised it but it is because I don’t want to confront the issue head on or make it seem “real” by saying it out loud. This movie sounds like such a great and deep storyline. Will definitely check this one out.


  • Caitlin | Beauty & Colour
    July 22, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    I love movies that aren’t super mainstream! I haven’t heard of this but would probably love it!

    Beauty & Colour | Vegan Fashion + Lifestyle Blog

  • Ashley
    July 23, 2019 at 10:35 am

    I am definitely guilty of doing this- keeping things to myself/suffering in silence so I don’t bother anyone. It’s okay to lean on that support system, for sure!

    Great review, babe!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Ashley
    July 23, 2019 at 10:35 am

    I am definitely guilty of doing this- keeping things to myself/suffering in silence so I don’t bother anyone. It’s okay to lean on that support system, for sure!

    Great review, babe!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's
    July 23, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    My friend and I have been talking about wanting to see it, but The Farewell is showing at so few cities! I personally wouldn’t keep an illness a secret from the person who was sick, but I understand why someone would! I suppose my opinion is expected, as although I’m ethnically Taiwanese, I was brought up culturally American. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Kinga
    July 23, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I want to watch it πŸ™‚

  • Ivana Split
    July 24, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Great review. I’m always shocked when doctors , often prompt by the family members, decide to hide cancer diagnosis from the patients themselves. Shouldn’t their first loyalty be to the patients themselves not the family members? I’ve spend a lot of time in hospitals and I’ve seen this practice of hiding the diagnosis pretty often. On one hand, I don’t understand how it is even legal to hide something like that and on the other hand I think I get why doctors sometimes to do it. Some people don’t deal well with finding out the truth. Moreover, I can sort of understand if the person is quite old and/or unable to take care of themselves but why hide the truth from everyone? People should know what they are struggling against. But maybe the doctors know what they are doing, maybe they only do it when they asses the situation. My doctors were always upfront with me but I noticed they are not that way with everyone. Maybe they intuitively understand that some people need more time?

    But seeing things from the perspective of someone who hides illness or problems be it their own or a family one ..I can understand that. Perhaps we all do it at times….maybe they (we) do it because they(we) don’t want to be a burden? Maybe they are indeed afraid that talking about it will make it more real? It seems to be that this movie examines some really relevant questions. I really enjoyed your movie review. I don’t watch movies often but when I do, I prefer those that make me think.

  • Dasynka
    July 25, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I can understand so much your feeling. This happened to me too, and sometimes still happens. But I saw how much things change when I start talk about problems with the right person. I many times change my idea about the problem or I saw that the problem isn’t that bad. So talking is always the best way for everything πŸ™‚
    xx Dasynka

  • Alyssa
    July 27, 2019 at 5:45 am

    Sounds like a really interesting movie. I will try to look for it in my country πŸ™‚

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

  • Radi
    July 27, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    So interesting… I love when we can relate and learn from movies. I totally get how you feel because I feel this same way when trying to talk to my parents.

  • Nancy
    July 28, 2019 at 2:39 am

    I’ve heard so many great things about The Farewell, especially with Awkwafina doing a great job with her role. I like that the plot is about outlining the two cultures into one. I realized I have similar conversations with my parents, where they ask me about work. Initially, I didn’t like to say anything but I adapted to telling them whatever happens, transparently. I am glad that you enjoyed the movie overall, despite some scenes that may be not up to par. I need to check it out!

    Nancy β™₯

  • Annie
    July 29, 2019 at 2:07 am

    I really really want to see this movie!! My Mum and I were hoping to get tickets for last weekend but they sold out so quickly. The next time it’s showing is in September so we’ll definitely be going then. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

    • Mai Nguyen
      July 29, 2019 at 6:49 pm

      I hope you two get tickets! Bring tissues, it really tugs at the heart ?

  • Yuka
    July 29, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I havent heard of this movie but I really want to watch it! I love that the cast is asian american!

  • Mercy
    July 29, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Nice to be aware about this movie, I’ll watch it when it gets released in Netflix. I like Awkwafina and her effective/fun acting, too bad her character was not given much a spotlight in Crazy Rich Asians.

  • aditi oberoi malhotra
    July 31, 2019 at 10:54 am

    I’m definitely gonna watch this movie! Thanks for sharing.
    Adi xx |

  • sarah
    August 1, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Oh yes! I’ve heard about this movie. Unfortunately, our cinemas here don’t show films that are not mainstream πŸ™
    I’m going to watch the trailer now and hope this is on Netflix.

  • Angie
    October 19, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    This is one movie I still need to see (and have been meaning to for awhile now!). I feel that there will be several things I’ll relate with, and that I’m going to cry and probably should bring some kleenex! Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚


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