Awkwafina stars in “The Farewell,” a funny, moving look at family life

Written and directed by Lulu Wang — and based on a personal anecdote she’d previously recounted on an episode of “This American Life” — “The Farewell” has the narrative structure of a farce, as Billi and her folks scramble to throw one last big party for Nai Nai while keeping her in the dark about the real reason why all her loved ones are suddenly at her doorstep.

Wang presents this plot in a way that’s funny and crowd-pleasing, but also thoughtful and well-observed, with something meaningful to say about how families sometimes go to great lengths to avoid telling each other the truth.

Ostensibly a Santa Claus origin story, the handsomely illustrated “Klaus” could become a holiday perennial — sort of like the old Rankin/Bass TV specials, which are similarly concerned with how our Christmas traditions began.

Season 2 picks up some pop thanks to the addition of two recurring guest stars: Anson Mount as the affable, wizened Capt.

Hayao Miyazaki’s peerless animated masterpiece “Spirited Away” tells the story of 10-year-old Chihiro, who sees her parents get turned into pigs by a mysterious spell, which also confines her to a curious bathhouse catering to ghosts and demons.

The heroine has to puzzle out where she actually is, and what she has to do to escape, in a story that shifts easily between supernatural adventure and outright surrealism, teeming with astonishing images of magical creatures and fluid buildings.

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