THE FAREWELL
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.


HONEY BOY
2019, Amazon Studios, 93 min, USA, Dir: Alma Har’el

The feature narrative debut of award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as therapy and imagination as hope. This drama about a young actor’s stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father through cinema and dreams was written by Shia LaBeouf, who fictionalized his own childhood ascent to stardom and subsequent crash-landing into rehab and recovery. Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges star as performer Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career, while LaBeouf takes on the challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Artist and musician FKA twigs makes her feature acting debut playing neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home.


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