The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 28m
Director(s): Anna Chi
Writer(s): Donald Martin, Anna Chi, Ella Lee
Cast: Lisa Lu, Michelle Krusiec, Rochelle Ying, Adrian Pasdar, Eugenia Yuan, Tiffany Wu, Brandon Soo Hoo, Da'Vinchi, Archie Kao, Joely Fisher
Where To Watch: available to rent/own on DVD and digital HD internet and satellite platforms on March 21, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MRS. WU invites audiences on a thrilling adventure as young Emma, played by Rochelle Ying, and her vibrant grandmother, Lily as played by Lisa Lu, traverse the California coastline. Along the way, the duo digs up long-buried family secrets, mends tenuous relationships, and spotlights vital topics such as LGBTQ rights and immigration.
As Lily, the dynamic Wu family matriarch, races against time, she strives to mend her frayed relationship with her daughter, Mary (Michelle Krusiec,) while guiding her timid granddaughter to discover her true self. Joined by Charlotte (Joely Fisher,) a dear friend, and Emma's best friend, Karen (Tiffany Wu,) Lily daringly leaves her Los Angeles nursing home behind to embark on an extraordinary journey to a cherished location from her past.
While the film's central theme revolves around a woman's final days of rekindling bonds with her family, the execution leaves room for improvement. The acting occasionally comes across as rigid, and the dialogue feels rough around the edges at times; they wanted to make the film deeper and ended up making it feel more made for TV. Scenic shots of the trip and a generally engaging storyline could appeal to viewers with a forgiving eye.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MRS. WU adeptly looks into LGBTQ themes by examining traditional Chinese beliefs about homosexuality and their impact on LGBTQ individuals of Chinese heritage. I thought this was one of the most natural parts of the film; it didn’t feel like the focus, but it handled it so well. THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MRS WU has charms.
The film holds promise as a heartwarming indie gem, intertwining family drama, self-discovery, and immigration tales against the backdrop of a scenic road trip. Although the film offers a handful of touching moments and commendable performances, it struggles to hit the mark as a complete picture.
In conclusion, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MRS. WU provides an emotionally stirring examination of the intricacies of immigrant family dynamics and the burdens of those who have experienced the negatives firsthand. Despite its imperfections, the director's endeavors to tackle these themes are praiseworthy, culminating in a bittersweet finale that encapsulates the essence of Lily's dreams and aspirations.
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[photo courtesy of FREESTYLE DIGITAL MEDIA]