2019, A24, 100 min, USA, Dir: Lulu Wang

In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun when she learns that her beloved grandmother, Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), has been given mere weeks to live. While Billi’s family knows this, they have decided not to tell Nai Nai herself; 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.

2014, The Orchard, 94 min, Dir: Lulu Wang

History is filled with artists who die before their work is fully appreciated, but Liam Price (Jack Huston) wants it both ways; after an erroneous report of his death causes the value of his work to skyrocket, Liam pretends to be the brother of the deceased. Freelance writer McKenzie Grain (a wonderful Brit Marling) senses something doesn’t quite fit, but that doesn’t keep her from being drawn to Liam. Though a classic screwball premise, this bright romantic comedy still has plenty of fresh touches, including a fine soundtrack and picturesque Berlin setting.

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