Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title currently available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"The Farewell": In her second feature, director Lulu Wang adapts a story from her own family that originally was featured in an episode of NPR's "This American Life" into one of the year's most delightful films. Before things begin, we're told that this is "based on an actual lie," and the reality turns out to be almost stranger than fiction. Awkwafina ("Crazy Rich Asians") stars as Billi, a young Chinese American woman in New York City who has remained very close to her grandmother (whom she calls Nai Nai) back in China. The family soon finds out that Nai Nai has lung cancer. The doctors have determined that she only has a few months to live, but the decision is made not to tell her how serious her diagnosis is. The family’s cultural belief is that it is just going to be more stressful and painful to know you are going to die, so why put your loved one through that pain? Instead, a rushed wedding is planned in China for one of Billi's cousins so that the entire family can gather together to see Nai Nai one last time. Western audiences fully embraced this heartfelt story, which has become a hit around the globe. Its U.S. arthouse release earned nearly $20 million. If you missed it in theaters or just want to watch it again, now is your chance to welcome the Wang family into your home. (Cable and digital VOD; in English and Mandarin with English subtitles)
Also on streaming services
"The Biggest Little Farm": John Chester was an Emmy-winning television producer when he, wife Molly and dog Todd escaped life in Los Angeles to purchase Apricot Lane Farms in 2011. Sprawled out over 200 acres, the property presented problems they didn't even know it could have, but they slowly and thoughtfully continued to make things work. Teaming up with an expert in regenerative agriculture, they sometimes had to make very costly decisions that wouldn't even show a real impact for several years. They struggled but never lost faith. While the path the Chesters took is not for most people, they managed to create a beautiful ecosystem in the most unlikely ways. As inspirational as it is occasionally heartbreaking, this wonderful documentary is an unflinching look at how love and compassion can have blossoming, real-world results. A huge hit on the festival circuit, the movie was recently nominated for seven Critics' Choice Documentary Awards and should prove to be a strong contender as we head into awards season this year. (Hulu)