This movie made me cry within the first five minutes. I wish I was exaggerating. The performance of every actor was so raw and real; just seeing Nai Nai sit in the waiting room so dejectedly was enough to make me tear up. If it weren't for some of the artistic direction, I'd have thought that this was a documentary. The performances were just that compelling. I've never seen another movie that suspended my disbelief so well.
The Farewell not only has excellent acting, the writing is amazing as well. The story of Billie and her kinship with her grandmother is told flawlessly, but so is the story of two opposing cultural philosophies. Not only is Billie at odds with her family and her emotions, she's at odds with her own upbringing and worldview. The tensions in the film are palpable, but they're also tender enough to where every member of the audience can empathize on some level.
The cinematography is also phenomenal. It's clear to see that every shot was planned and executed with every detail in mind. The realistic scenes of people talking coupled with the semi-surreal shot of Billie's whole family silently walking towards the camera add a lot to the intensity of the film. The one song that is played throughout the film is also a beautiful way of tying all of the scenes together, as well as adding some additional melancholy.
Overall, if you haven't seen The Farewell yet, you need to drop whatever you're doing and sprint to the theater because this isn't just a movie; it's a cultural landmark.