The Farewell (2019)

farewell_xxlg

A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies. (IMDb)
An aching portrait of a family with a shared culture and history and varying values and vision, held together (and you’re right there with them) in a collective suppressed grief that can’t help but seep out at the edges and burst forth in sudden waves (see the wedding breaks; for me, it was the look back and the wave). The script perhaps could have dug a little deeper, but the naturalistic turns, sensitive direction, and superb music and cinematography certainly created an affecting atmosphere.
8/10 (Great)

 

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

crazy_rich_asians_xxlg

This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. (IMDb)
Takes a while to get anywhere substantial conflict-wise, and when it arrives it’s weirdly inconsistent (the post-bach party tension was high but dissipated quite quickly; the side plot with Astrid didn’t help). Overall though it has some interesting things to say about prejudice, family, and relationships on its way to a solid climactic confrontation (the Mahjong game) and resolve (cliche but sweet), with lots of laughs filling in the gaps (Awkwafina and Jeong are both hilarious in their roles).
7/10 (Good)

Ocean’s Eight (2018)

14-oceans-8-nocrop-w710-h2147483647

Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala. (IMDb)
A great cast of characters led by Bullock’s brazen Debbie (“It’s what I’m good at”), Blanchett’s badass Lou (that strut!), and Hathaway’s hilarious baddie (see her necklace moans) are let down a bit by a less colourful script that too often feels like a tame retread of familiar territory. Still fun though (deflating first twist aside), with some good comedy especially in the post-heist kerfuffle carried by Corden’s earnest insurance agent (“You’ve got two of those!”). Great soundtrack too.
6.5/10 (Alright)