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.


LOVING
2016, Focus Features, 123 min, UK/USA, Dir: Jeff Nichols

From acclaimed writer-director Jeff Nichols, LOVING celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has been an inspiration to couples ever since.


JACK GOES BOATING
2010, Anchor Bay, 89 min, USA, Dir: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut with this insightful romantic drama. Awkward New York City limo driver Hoffman grows closer to Brooklyn funeral home worker Amy Ryan while the couple who introduced them, John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega, begin to struggle with their own marriage. Adapted from the acclaimed Off-Broadway play (which starred all of these actors except Ryan), this charmingly low-key indie boasts superb performances and an eye for telling details.


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