Since moving to America with her parents Haiyan (Tzi Ma) and Jian (Diana Lin) as a young child, Chinese-born Billi (Awkwafina) is far more familiar with the Western way of life. So, when her family learns their grandmother, Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao), has just months to live, Billi struggles to understand her parents’ Eastern value of keeping the diagnosis a secret from her.
Rather than revealing the truth to the dying matriarch, the family begin preparing an elaborate wedding for Billi’s cousin (Han Chen) as an excuse to bring everyone together and give distant relatives the chance to say one last goodbye.
Concerned Billi won’t be able to contain her emotions, her parents instruct her to stay in America, but with some battling she manages to persuade them to let her attend the wedding.
Keeping her word, Billi engages with the celebrations as though nothing is wrong. While still finding it difficult to keep such a big secret, Billi begins to understand why her family have made the decision as she learns to embrace the Eastern culture she had forgotten.
Based on a true story, this moving drama explores the differences between Eastern and Western family culture. Written and directed by Lulu Wang, The Farewell stars Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8, Crazy Rich Asians), Diana Lin (The Family Law, Australia Day), and Tzi Ma (Rush Hour, Arrival).