“THE FAREWELL” – Photo | Big Beach Films
“The Farewell,” one of the best reviewed, most beloved independent films of the year is going to be playing at the Crescent Theater for one week only, starting August 30. If you saw “Crazy Rich Asians,” you know and probably love Awkwafina, who played the protagonist’s wacky college roommate, and her performance in “The Farewell” has been pretty much universally praised as a breakout, showing incredible comedic and dramatic range.
Based on a true story, “The Farewell” is about a dying matriarch in China. The family’s response to the situation highlights generational and cultural differences: They don’t tell her. Instead, her children plan a huge wedding to allow everyone to gather to see their beloved grandmother once more, without tipping her off. Awkwafina stars as Billi, who lives in the U.S. and is the stand-in for writer/director Lulu Wang, whose family apparently pulled off a similar stunt. This film has been described as “pretty perfect,” “one of the year’s best” and “deeply moving,” so plan on checking it out.
“The Farewell” is playing from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, at 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the Crescent Theater.
The Mobile Public Library has a series of films called “Notable Thursday Nights” at Ben May Main Library on Government Street. With their terrific and varied selection, these films also highlight the library’s resource called Kanopy, which allows anyone with a library card to stream more than 30,000 of the world’s best films, including award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, indies and world cinema.
For example, “The Best of Enemies” is playing Thursday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m. In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. This series of riveting, nationally televised debates ushered in a new era of public discourse and pundit TV (which is working out great!).
The next Thursday, Sept. 5, is “Knock Down the House,” which follows the stories of four inspiring women who took on history in the 2018 midterm election. That is followed by “Booksmart” on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m., a fresh, unfiltered modern comedy in which best friends and academic overachievers Amy and Molly realize they’ve missed out on fun during high school. So, on the eve of graduation, they decide to make up for lost time with one wild adventure. This directorial debut from Oliva Wilde is “Superbad” for girls.
On Thursday, Sept. 19, at 5:30 p.m., a movie I strongly recommend, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” is being shown. Lee Israel made her living in the 1970s and 1980s profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. Though Lee Israel has undeniable profiling skills, her work has grown stale and hackneyed, rendering her profession unnecessary and insignificant. Now in times of financial hardship, Israel must find other ways to make a living. Excellent performances from Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant make this more than just a quirky true story, but a profound character study.
For more information on the Mobile Public Library film series, call 251-340-1458.
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