Tiff Review: ‘Coming Home Again’ Finds Wayne Wang Flexing His Atrophied Formalist Muscles

Crazy Rich Asians having opened the spigot on the previously untapped audience for Asian-diasporic considerations of family and multicultural identity, Joy Luck Club director Wayne Wang arrives with Coming Home Again, adapted with Chang-rae Lee from the latter’s New Yorker essay about home cooking and bittersweet nostalgia. A film that will surely be misleadingly marketed as a heartachy children-of-immigrants story, Coming Home Again is authentically a real weird one: Wang, flexing formalist muscles that have atrophied considerably since the early stages of his career, has made his 15:17 to Paris.

Chang-rae (Justin Chon) has taken a step back from his Exeter-Yale-Wall Street trajectory to return to his family’s home in San Francisco, where his mother is dying of cancer in a room off the kitchen. The apartment, designed in hospice neutrals, is almost the film’s only location, and basically a memory palace: over the course of last day of the year,
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