A24 has dropped the first trailer and poster for writer and director Lulu Wang’s upcoming The Farewell, which is headlined by Crazy Rich Asians breakout star and comedian Awkwafina. Positioned as an alternative to the bombastic summer fare coming our way in the next couple of months, The Farewell is a heartfelt celebration of familial love and its power to transcend the barriers of language, continents, and generations.
The Farewell was a big hit at this year’s Sundance, where it had its premiere. The movie will land in theaters on July 12, getting a head start on a jam-packed weekend that will also see the debut of Men in Black: International, The Shaft revival and the missing daughter thriller American Woman. The Farewell is decidedly different, a family drama rooted in the reality of life, death and everything that comes with it.
In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations and proprieties, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken. With The Farewell, writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.
Chinese people have a saying. When Chinese people get cancer they die. That line sets the tone for Billi’s journey in The Farewell, which comes from writer and director Lulu Wang. Wang began her career as a filmmaker crafting shorts before moving onto her directorial debut with 2014’s comedy romance drama Posthumous, which starred The OA‘s Brit Marling and Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston. The Farewell is her second full-length directorial feature.
Awkwafina has long been known in comedy circles, with her comedy music videos gaining a strong following on Youtube. She made her big screen feature debut in the 2016 comedy sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and hasn’t looked back since. She had a featured role in the 2018 reboot Ocean’s Eight and was one of the breakouts in the blockbuster hit Crazy Rich Asians last summer. She’ll next be seen in Jumanji 3 and is being eyed for a 21 Jump Street spin-off that will center on two female detectives. She is also voicing Courtney in Angry Birds 2.
You can check out The Farewell trailer above along with the poster. Both come direct from A24, which continues making a name for itself as the studio that zigs when everyone else is zagging. If you’re tired of over the top action and eye-blistering special effects this summer, then why not cozy on over to The Farewell? It seems to be the best alternative to all the noise.