When is a lie a good lie? That’s the dilemma at the heart of The Farewell, the family blend of comedy and drama from writer-director Lulu Wang. In the film, a family discovers that their grandmother has diagnosed with terminal cancer and opts not to inform her of her diagnosis. Lulu Wang’s film received rave reviews out of Sundance where it was snapped up by A24, who have just released the first trailer for The Farewell ahead of its release on July 12, 2019.
Awkwafina headlines the cast of The Farewell, and early buzz about her performance has the actress poised for a major breakout. Co-starring with Awkwafina in the film are Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, and Jiang Yongbo.
All families have to deal with illness and loss, and each family and culture handles these matters differently. That’s the heart of The Farewell, and a major aspect of the film’s acclaim has been its culturally specific storytelling with broader appeal. The Farewell is one of the best reviewed films out of Sundance in a while, and the hype for Lulu Wang’s dramedy will only grow as we get closer to the film’s release date of July 12, 2019.
The official synopsis for The Farewell:
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.