WEEK IN WOMEN: Awkwafina’s Two New High-Profile Projects – Brandy McDonnell Reports

With her signing on to two high-profile projects in less a month, we’re seeing another phase in the rapidly morphing career of Awkwafina, the rapper who broke out as a comedic actor in last year’s blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians and is gaining early awards consideration for her finely nuanced lead turn in this year’s critically acclaimed drama The Farewell.

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THE FAREWELL – Review by Susan Granger

Written and directed by Lulu Wang, based on her own experiences, this intergenerational-bonding comic drama revolves around a Chinese-American artist, Billi (Awkwafina), living in Brooklyn, who returns to her hometown in northeastern China when she learns that her adored Nai-Nai – grandmother in Mandarin- has Stage IV lung cancer.

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THE FAREWELL – Review by Martha K Baker

The story is based, not on a true story, but on a true lie. Billi, a woman of Chinese extraction lives in America, but part of her heart remains with her grandmother, her Nai Nai, in China. When she learns that Nai Nai has been diagnosed with cancer and, further, that the family is gathering for a wedding as a ruse to say good-bye to the matriarch, she stubbornly insists on joining.

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Lulu Wang on THE FAREWELL, Love and Her Grandmother – Sarah Knight Adamson interviews

Lulu Wang speaks about the special bond Wang shares with her grandmother and some of the qualities that she most admires in her grandmother. “My grandmother is an incredibly strong person, she actually joined the Army at age 14 as a way to escape an arranged marriage, and that speaks a lot to who she is as a person. She’s a very willful person, and she’s the one who really holds the entire family together. We’ve always had a special relationship because I’ve always been told that I take after her,” says Wang.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Streep, Kidman, Grande to star in Netflix adaptation of THE PROM – Brandy McDonnell reports

As part of his five-year deal with Netflix, Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) will direct and produce the feature adaptation of The Prom, with. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Ariane Grande set to star in the popular musical. Murphy will start directing the film adaptation of the Broadway hit in December, for a fall 2020 awards season release in theaters before it airs on Netflix.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Femme-helmed, femme-centric films sell big at Sundance 2019 – Brandy McDonnell reports

Some of the biggest sales of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, which started January 24, have gone to femme-centric, woman-directed films, including the Mindy Kaling-Emma Thompson vehicle Late Night, and the Awkwafina starrer The Farewell and Pippa Bianco’s feature film debut Share.

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