One lucky viewer had the most amazing, accidental private showing of “The Farewell” in San Diego, with none other than writer/director Lulu Wang, herself.
Wang’s critically acclaimed indie drama-comedy debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, shortly becoming an inspiring success.
The story, which is said to be “based on an actual lie,” follows Chinese-American Billi, played by Awkwafina, who returns to Changchun with her family to visit her grandmother. The family discovers their beloved matriarch Nai Nai has only weeks left to live due to a cancer diagnosis and instead of telling her the truth, chooses to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch under the guise of a fake wedding.
“The Farewell” was initially shown in only four movie theaters across New York and Los Angeles in July. However, the film easily topped “Endgame” in terms of the best per-theater average at the box office in 2019, bringing in $88,916 per theater. “Endgame” on the other hand, had an average of $76,601.
However, like with all films, the hype inevitably died down after three months in theaters.
I took my best friend to the Angelika last night to see @thefarewell as real audience members in a theater where we’ve seen countless films together over the years. 10:15 showing on a Monday night. There was one other audience member there and I surprised him with a Q&A 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/SkNJOBk1Nh
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) October 15, 2019
On October 14, Wang decided to watch her own film as a real audience member with her best friend at the Angelika Film Center in San Diego, California where they watched countless films together over the years.
When she attended the 10:15 p.m. showing on a Monday night, there was only one other audience member present. So what did the award-winning writer/director do? She kicked off the private screening with the most adorable impromptu film introduction, adding, “please stay after for the Q&A.”
“You’re the only audience member here, these are my friends… hope you enjoy the film, it’s a very personal story for me,” she said before laughing and walking back to her seat.
If you still have not yet seen “The Farewell,” the film is still reportedly playing in select cinemas and is set to be released on digital platforms on October 29.