The Farewell is based on a story that was originally told on the radio program, This American Life. It is a comedy-drama which was written and directed by Lulu Wang. It is based on the events surrounding her own grandmother’s illness.
The main character of this movie is Billi, who is played by Awkwafina, who also starred in Crazy Rich Asians. Billi is a Chinese-American woman who becomes caught between two cultures when she returns to China because her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Apparently, in China, it is a common practice to withhold information of a fatal illness from a dying patient. Billi’s grandmother, Nai Nai, is played by Zhao Shuzhen.
Nai Nai’s family comes to China and gets together under the pretense of a wedding. Billi struggles with her American sensibilities that her grandmother should know the truth of her medical condition. Much of the dialogue in the film takes place in Mandarin with English subtitles.
On January 25, 2019, this film premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the Sundance Film Festival. Several companies competed over distribution rights, including Netflix, Amazon Studios, and Fox Searchlight. In the end, A24 won out, paying $7 million for worldwide distribution rights.
The Farewell came out in theaters on July 12, 2019. Even though it only came out in four theaters, it made a total of $355,662 in its opening weekend, averaging $88,916 per venue. This average is the best of 2019, and it even topped Avengers: Endgame, which earned an average of $76,601 per venue.
The Farewell has received incredible reviews. It holds an aggregate score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Reviewers praised the film for being charming and poignant.
Will The Farewell come to Netflix in the future?
You may be wondering if you will eventually be able to see The Farewell on Netflix.
Unfortunately, it is too soon to tell if The Farewell will be coming to Netflix.
As mentioned before, Netflix did try and fail to obtain distribution rights to The Farewell. They were outbid by A24, who could also offer the filmmakers a theatrical release.
While it is sad for Netflix subscribers that A24 obtained the distribution rights, there is still hope. A24 remains an independent company, and it does not yet appear to have any exclusive contracts with any streaming service. This means we do not know where it will end up. It could still go to Netflix. It could also go to one of the competitors of Netflix, such as Hulu or Amazon Prime. There is no way to know at the present time.
While you are waiting to see if The Farewell will come to Netflix, there are some other shows that you might enjoy. You may want to consider Always be my Maybe, which is a story about a famous chef and a hometown musician who struggle to adapt to each other worlds. If you are interested in Awkwafina, you may enjoy Bad Rap, a documentary about four young Asian-American rappers as they try to achieve success on their own terms.