Awkwafina tries her hand at drama in the trailer for Lulu Wang's critically acclaimed dramedy, The Farewell. The rapper-actor and YouTube star broke out on the big screen last year, thanks to her memorable comedic turns in Ocean's Eight and especially Crazy Rich Asians. However, before she costars in this December's Jumanji 3 and lends her voice to The Angry Birds Movie 2, Awkwafina will appear in Wang's sophomore feature as a writer and director (following 2014's Posthumous). Titled The Farewell, the movie tells the story of Billi, a young Chinese-American woman who learns her grandmother has been diagnosed with cancer.
The Farewell held its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it earned near-universal praise from critics and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Awkwafina is joined in the film's cast by character actors like Tai Ma (Arrival), Gil Perez-Abraham (Pose), Diana Lin (The Family Law), and Jim Liu (The Windsors), in addition to Shuzhen Zhou as Billi's grandmother, Nai Nai. Now, with just a couple months to go before the film hit theaters, general audiences are getting a chance to see what all the buzz is about.
A24 has released an official trailer for The Farewell online, ahead of its run in theaters beginning this weekend. You can check it out in the space below.
While The Farewell trailer is full of critic pull-quotes heaping praise on the film, it also sheds some light on its narrative and themes. As seen here, Billi's family responds to the news about Nai Nai by putting together an impromptu wedding for her cousin, as an excuse for everyone to get together and see the grand matriarch one final time. The movie was inspired by Wang's real-life grandmother and her own illness, as well as the filmmaker's experiences as a Chinese-American and how it affected her relationships with everyone from her Chinese family to her U.S. peers and classmates growing up. It looks and sounds pretty terrific so far, and is definitely one that indie movie fans will want to check out when it arrives this summer.
Speaking of which: The Farewell is scheduled to open on July 12, where it will face-off directly with the Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista action-comedy Stuber, the Chadwick Boseman crime thriller 21 Bridges, and Alexandre Aja's survival horror film Crawl. Wang's comedy-drama is a far cry from any of those releases, so it has a reasonable shot at thriving as counter-programming to that month's big tentpoles and genre movies. Indeed, between its release date and initial success at Sundance, it appears The Farewell is already on its way to emulating last year's own Sundance darling turned summer hit, Eighth Grade.
- The Farewell (2019) release date: Jul 12, 2019