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Runaway driver accidentally brings tears and Asian pride to Sundance – The Hollywood Reporter


Tears and Asian pride flowed on stage after Sundance’s premiere Accidental getaway driverThe film debut of longtime music and commercial video director Sing J. Lee.

Based on real events in which a Vietnamese driver was kidnapped by three criminals and used to transport them to escape, the story seems ready to be turned into an “action thriller”. But Lee had other plans when he first read 2017 GQ article on which it is based.

“It looks like it could be some kind of movie,” Lee said at the Q&A session after the screening. “But I immediately saw the four people in this story who could embody so many parts of my family and the experiences lived or seen in my parents’ lives. I saw something so tender and fragile that I had never seen in the West. And I just felt the urge to create something with this story because I was afraid of what another version of this story might be.”

Instead of one Collateral, Michael Mann’s film starring Jamie Foxx as a hit-and-miss taxi driver played by Tom Cruise, Lee’s film is a reflection on loneliness and the meaning of family, all imbued with Vietnamese culture. With most of the dialogue in Vietnamese, the story is about an elderly hire driver picking up three passengers who turn out to be dangerous prisoners who have escaped from prison. One of the men, fluent in Vietnamese, develops a relationship with the driver, and finds himself caught between his dark makeshift prisoner family and the redeemable light on offer. by a man old enough to be his father.

“Surrounded by Vietnamese Americans, told stories about unrelated Vietnamese Americans (the Vietnam War) and universal themes that bring people together, it has been a privilege,” says Dustin Nguyen, who plays Tar, a prisoner of conflict.

Nguyen is the only actor on stage who doesn’t shed tears when talking about his work and the importance of the film. Hiep Tran Nghia, an 81-year-old actor from France, who received his first film lead role, cried when, with the help of an interpreter, acknowledged his wife’s support as well as the 2nd of the Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year. Five, wish that everyone can live a life as lucky as his.

Gabrielle Chan, who plays the driver’s divorced wife, held back tears as she said many people her age are a lost generation, coming from war and losing family members. family, before calling those with her on stage a family.

But perhaps the most moving moment comes from Phi Vu, who plays a convict torn between following the group’s violent leader and accepting his own legacy and path. Vu recounted how he tried to convince his father-in-law, a shrimp fisherman in Louisiana, to take him out to sea, so that he could understand the man’s life. The father-in-law finally agreed, but then Vu received a call back for the movie… while they were abroad.

“I said to my father-in-law, I said, ‘Hey, you have to go. My wife said: ‘You mustn’t leave him!’ I’m not trying to leave him!” Vu recounted.

Then, in a tender moment, he took on a confessional tone, about what this movie meant. “I’ve really had a long journey to recover from the lack of love, and I think I’m still looking for it. And this, I think is my first step,” he said through tears.

Director Lee also talked about his methodical directing style and his special requirements for composition, his close relationship with the director of photography, the 21-day shoot, and the challenges of shooting at night. .

“The challenge we faced was the lack of time,” he said. “Sunrise or sunset.”

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