Distributor A24 has today released the official trailer for Lulu Wang’s Sundance hit The Farewell, showing what looks to be a nice balance of poignancy and reality, drama and comedy as a family reunion with fatal undertones unfolds.
Billi (Awkwafina), living in America, returns to her family in China for a family gathering surrounding her grandmother, who, unbeknownst to the elderly woman, is dying of terminal cancer. The conflicted interest of keeping her grandmother complacent and telling her the grave truth gnaws at Billi the most.
To paraphrase the trailer, there’s an interesting line about the difference between Eastern and Western philosophy, with a character mentioning how a life is one’s own in the West, whereas in the East it’s a part of the whole. Deep stuff. The film is based on director Wang’s own story, first shared on This American Life.
Personally I’m glad to be seeing more content of this ilk from A24; a little less flashy and self-aware, perhaps. Certainly they’ve created a brand with their sleek and, for lack of a better term, cinephile-oriented approach, with First Reformed, Eighth Grade, and Hereditary some of the more notable releases of last year, and 2019 already going strong with Under the Silver Lake.
The Farewell premiered in January at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival to critical praise and a bidding war, and is scheduled for release July 12th, 2019.