It was so well done, so fast moving, so easy to follow, and just a happy-feeling movie.
I loved the strong female characters, starting with the lead, Constance Wu, who turns in a great performance. What an empowering character smart, kind, honest, and graceful.
Michelle Yeoh is cool and calculating, but we see her caring moments, her conflict, and the way she was treated by her own mother. Her lines challenging Wu’s character (“You will never be enough”) are delivered like icepicks.
Lisa Lu is also excellent as the grandmother, and this is a nuanced character as well, starting off so sweet and seeming to make a connection with Wu, but gradually unfolding to something else, the depths of which were a little surprising. It was so nice to see this 91-year-old actress.
Gemma Chan is brilliant when she tells off her philandering husband, and makes it clear their marital problems aren’t due to their differing backgrounds, but his weakness.
Tan Kheng Hua as Wu’s mother is in a quieter role, but shows a strength and dignity, and when she reveals her backstory, it’s powerful.
The men are a little overshadowed but not outdone, especially Henry Golding, who is suave, forthright, and endearing. The scene on the plane, where he tries to talk to Wu from the other aisle, while trying to get through people fumbling with the overboard bins, is gold.
In comedic roles, Awkwafina and Nico Santos are funny, and light up the screen in every scene they’re in.
It helps to know about mahjong; but you can look it up.