30-something Billi’s life is going south – her Guggenheim grant application is denied, she’s told she must leave her NYC sublet – but this is put in perspective when she learns that her beloved grandmother back in China — her Nai Nai — is dying… so despite her parents objections, she converts every asset she has into cash, and flies to China to say goodbye to her grandma..
In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has 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.
(UK/ 2019 / Directed by Lulu Wang)
PG / 98 mins.