Awkwafina’s dramatic turn in “The Farewell” has quickly become one of the must-sees at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

After rising to household name status last summer with breakout comedic roles in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8,” audiences in Park City, Utah, have been raving over the discovery that she’s got the chops to make you cry, and not just from laughter.

She plays a Chinese-American woman who discovers that her grandmother is terminally ill. Her family decides not to tell the grandmother about the diagnoses, but concocts a fake wedding to have an excuse to visit. It’s based on director Lulu Wang’s real-life experience.

Actress Awkwafina is interviewed at the premiere of
Actress Awkwafina is interviewed at the premiere of “The Farewell” during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Friday, Jan. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)
Writer and director Lulu Wang, left, and actress Awkwafina pose at the premiere of
Writer and director Lulu Wang, left, and actress Awkwafina pose at the premiere of “The Farewell” during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Friday, Jan. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)
Writer and director Lulu Wang, left, actress Awkwafina, and actress Diana Lin pose at the premiere of
Writer and director Lulu Wang, left, actress Awkwafina, and actress Diana Lin pose at the premiere of “The Farewell” during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Friday, Jan. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)
Awkwafina poses for a portrait to promote the film
Awkwafina poses for a portrait to promote the film “The Farewell” at the Salesforce Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

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