This film shares a deeply personal story of writer/director Lulu Wang where a Chinese family hides the cancer diagnosis of their grandmother from herself. We discover through the eyes of Chinese-American Awkwafina in a refreshingly non-comedic role the differences between the eastern and western philosophy about health, family and death. The film shows the pros and cons of the two philosophies and does not dare choose for you which one is best. While this is a good setup for a film, it does make for a simple, quiet film without many twists and turns or bangs.
Apparently, this movie is being campaigned as a ‘Comedy’ at the Golden Globes. After The Martian debacle, I hope they reconsider as this really is not a funny movie. This would bode well for Awkwafina however, as competing in the Best Leading Actress, Comedy/Musical would give her a great chance to actually win the Globe, which would help her be nominated at the Oscars (she’s on the bubble at the moment). Shuzhen Zhao, who plays the sweetest grandmother ever, also has a lot of buzz. In a weak year for the Best Supporting Actress category, I do think she has a good chance of being nominated for the Oscar.