As the Cannes Film Festival hits full swing, lots of films are dropping trailers and clips left and right, including the latest American indie drama Blue Bayou, starring Justin Chon and Alicia Vikander. Chon also serves as the writer and director for the film, which will be his fourth feature as an up-and-coming filmmaker. Although he might be best known to audiences for his role in the Twilight series, Blue Bayou may just be the film to help him break out of that mold, as well as sucker in some awards.
Blue Bayou is inspired by true events and follows the story of Antonio LeBlanc, a Korean adoptee who is raised in the United States, and is happily married to his wife, Kathy. Raised in Louisiana, he takes care of his step-daughter and has his own kid with Kathy on the way. When arrested due to a misunderstanding, LeBlanc is transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), where he faces deportation. Fighting for his family and the only place he has ever called home, Blue Bayou is a timely and tender story sure to hit home due to recent events.
According to Chon, this is a deeply important project for him: “I realize how I add the value to the Asian American community right now. We have Justin Lin, we have James Wan, and John Chu — they’re doing that space incredibly well. They’re doing the studio system so and more commercial traditional films. I think I’m so well served in telling these much more intimate stories that bring empathy to us, to our community, and portray us in an authentic way — and I think that is penetrating the culture in a different way.”
Blue Bayou does have the chance to do well, as Lee Isaac Chung‘s own Korean immigration drama Minari, picked up many awards and nominations during the 2021 awards season earlier this year. And the trailer makes it clear that Blue Bayou is certainly striving for the same, even leaning towards a bit more melodramatic moments to really pull on the heartstrings (complete with the Academy Award-approved accents). As Chon mentioned in the quote above, it appears to be an intimate drama that focuses on hot issues that the United States continues to grapple with, making sure to underline the injustice and adversity that many still face.
Focus Features will release Blue Bayou on September 17. Check out the first trailer below.
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