Here are Awkwafina and director Lulu Wang last night at the New York premiere of The Farewell. The film opens in limited release on Friday and right now, it has a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not a surprise because people loved it at Sundance.
I’m seeing it on Friday morning and… I’ve already told Sarah that I’ll be overcome. Also I really want to bring cuttlefish into the theatre because that’s what many Chinese people eat the movies!
This is the season of big summer blockbusters. Several blockbusters, however, haven’t performed to expectation. After Avengers: Endgame wiped out everything, there’s all kinds of talk of franchise fatigue although Spider-Man: Far From Home did well this weekend. But mid-budget movies haven’t done great either so… where does this leave The Farewell?
Well. People have to love it, and give it the word of mouth push. Because while this is about a Chinese family, it’s not necessarily a story for Chinese people, it’s a story for anyone with a family, just like August: Osage County isn’t a movie about a white family that’s only for white people.
Beyond The Farewell, though, some good news for Lulu Wang just in time for the film’s release – she’s lined up her next job: Lulu will direct Children of the New World based on the short story collection by Alexander Weinstein. So we’re continuing to see new storytellers take their positions behind the camera and telling so many different kinds of stories. Lulu is showing her range in independent family dramedies and in the sci-fi genre. Over at Marvel, don’t forget, Chloe Zhao is working with a bigger budget, directing the Eternals movie starring Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, and reportedly Salma Hayek. This is the kind of diversity we’ve been building towards. Not there yet, and progress is slow, but it’s progress all the same.