"Can an officer have a loyalty to anything greater than his country?" A24 has unveiled a trailer for a WWII romantic thriller titled The Exception, based on a novel by Alan Judd titled "The Kaiser's Last Kiss". The film stars Jai Courtney as a German soldier investigating the Dutch resistance in Holland, looking for a spy in the home of Kaiser Wilhelm. He meets a young Jewish Dutch woman played by Lily James and falls in love with her, hence the title (she's "the exception"). The full cast includes Christopher Plummer, Ben Daniels, Janet McTeer, Eddie Marsan, Mark Dexter, and Martin Swabey. This honestly doesn't look half bad, but I'm not sure it seems that good either. Lily James is great, but Jai Courtney not so much.
"Try acting like a hero, Winston, and then maybe people will believe that you are one." Cohen Media Group has debuted a new US trailer for one of the other Winston Churchill movies in the works. This one is called simply Churchill, from Australian director Jonathan Teplitzky. Brian Cox stars as Churchill in the film, which examines a narrow frame of time in 1944 around D-Day and the decisions he was burdened with. The cast includes John Slattery, Miranda Richardson, Ella Purnell, James Purefoy, Richard Durden, and Julian Wadham. This is a very powerful trailer, with a number of strikingly bold shots of Churchill. There's great cinematography, a moving score, it seems like this might actually be worth watching when it opens. We're not sure when the other Churchill film will arrive, but this one hits theaters this June.
"You will see the safe delivery of our holiest relic to Rome. Go with God." RLJ Entertainment has debuted a trailer for an indie action thriller titled Pilgrimage, set in the religious times of 13th century Ireland. The film is about to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month, hence the release of the trailer to build extra buzz. The story follows a group of monks who must escort a sacred relic across the "Irish landscape fraught with peril". There's plenty of gnarly violence in this. Starring Richard Armitage, Tom Holland, John Lynch, Stanley Weber, Lochlann O'Mearáin, Hugh O'Conor, Eric Godon, plus the badass Jon Bernthal as a character named "The Mute". This actually looks pretty cool, consider me interested.
"He seems to be a sensitive person." "Does he?" Focus Features has debuted a new full-length trailer for Sofia Coppola's latest film, titled The Beguiled, adapted from Thomas Cullinan's Southern Gothic novel. Set during the Civil War, an injured Union soldier ends up being nursed back to life at an all-girls' boarding school in the Confederate south. Soon the girls begin to turn on him, making this into more than it seems at first glance. Colin Farrell plays the soldier, and the cast includes Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Oona Laurence. This looks like a rather twisted, wicked, seductive film from Coppola. The Beguiled will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this May. Expect to hear plenty of buzz about this soon.
"I want you to suffer the way I'm suffering now!" Imagination Worldwide has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama titled Paint it Black, the feature directorial debut of actress Amber Tamblyn, who also co-wrote the script, adapting Janet Fitch's book of the same name. The film stars Alia Shawkat, Alfred Molina, Janet McTeer, Emily Rios, Annabelle Attanasio, John Roberts, and Rhys Wakefield. The story follows Shawkat as Josie, who learns that her boyfriend has died, and she struggles with both grief and his intense, cruel mother, played by McTeer. Tamblyn says: "My hope was to make a movie that was as visually intoxicating as it is psychologically — a true and twisted look at the violent, terrifying, and beautiful subconscious lives of women in the throws of major life changes." This definitely looks stylish. Take a look.
"Think about what's best for your son." A24 has debuted an official trailer for the acclaimed indie drama titled Menashe, a very unique film set entirely within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community. The film tells the story of a widowed father of a young son, struggling to make ends meet and stay in his kid's life. His Rabbi has required that his son live with his strict uncle's family, but Menashe is given one more week to prove he's a capable parent. Starring Menashe Lustig as Menashe, and Ruben Nyborg. This was filmed in secret in the neighborhood, and is one of the few films that is entirely in Yiddish, preserving the integrity of the culture it's portraying. This is a good gem to seek out, and has a tender, charming side to it.
"Suburban life. So much is the same, week after week. Who hasn't had the impulse to put their life on hold for a moment?" IFC Films has unveiled a trailer for an indie drama titled Wakefield, from writer/director Robin Swicord. This first premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals last fall, to fairly mediocre reviews unfortunately. Bryan Cranston stars as a New York City lawyer living in the suburbs who has a nervous breakdown and decides to leave his family and hide out in his attic. The full cast includes Jennifer Garner, Beverly D'Angelo, Jason O'Mara, Ian Anthony Dale, Pippa Bennett-Warner, and Ellery Sprayberry. I like this trailer. It plays like a short film, but I'm not sure how much else there is to this film.
"Who is this person? Has Donny approved of him?" Magnolia Pictures has debuted an official trailer for an indie comedy titled I Love You Both, from writer/director Doug Archibald. The film follows two twins, Krystal and Donny, who have been codependent their entire lives, still living together in a converted one bedroom house. They both meet and start dating the same nice guy, and are forced to figure out what to do with their lives on their own. Kristin Archibald and Doug Archibald star as Krystal and Donny, along with Lucas Neff as Andy, Artemis Pebdani, Angela Trimbur, Kate Berlant, Justin Michael Terry, and Charlene Archibald. This looks quirky and spunky and sweet, but hopefully not too campy. Have fun.
"You can't just decide to fix things!" The Orchard has unveiled the first official trailer for an indie dramedy called The Hero, from writer/director Brett Haley. The film stars Sam Elliott as "The Hero", basically he's playing himself, an "aging Western icon with a golden voice, but his best performances are decades behind him." He tries to deal with his own demons while falling for a young stand up comedian, played by Laura Prepon. The cast also includes Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman and Katharine Ross. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and also played at SXSW to mostly positive reviews. This is actually a damn good film, with some great performances from Elliott, Prepon, and Offerman. As much as this seems like a comedy, there's a humble and emotional side to this that makes it even better than it seems at first glance.
"We gotta get that briefcase." Netflix has debuted a trailer for indie romantic comedy Tramps, from writer & director Adam Leon, of the NYC film Gimme the Loot previously. The story follows an aspiring chef in NYC who gets caught up in a crazy adventure when he has to help his brother finish a drug deal. But when the briefcase exchange goes wrong, he ends up running all over the city trying to figure out how to get things back in order. Callum Turner stars, along with Grace Van Patten, Michal Vondel, Mike Birbiglia, Margaret Colin, Louis Cancelmi, and Rachel Zeiger-Haag. I guess the unique twist in this is that he falls for the driver girl, which is kind of nice to see. It definitely feels like an indie, but has lots of heart, too.
"Promise me you'll get out alive." An international trailer has debuted for a WWII thriller titled HHhH, or also The Man With The Iron Heart, since no one really knows what HHhH means. The film tells the story of the assassination plot of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague, in May, 1942, when the Third Reich is at the peak of its power. This is the same mission known as "Anthropoid" that the other film titled Anthropoid is based on - they are the same exact stories, different films. This one also features an impressive international cast including Jason Clarke, Rosamund Pike, Jack O'Connell, Jack Reynor, Noah Jupe, Adam Nagaitis, Enzo Cilenti, Oscar Kennedy, and Mia Wasikowska. This was finished a few years ago, but has been kept in the can ever since, perhaps to distance itself from the other Anthropoid film. Check it out.
"All the things you've done have put you right here… with me." Neon has unveiled a second official trailer for Ana Lily Amirpour's post-apocalyptic, dystopian cannibal western thriller called The Bad Batch. This follow-up to her feature directorial debut follows a woman who drifts through a hostile desert wasteland overrun by cannibals. Suki Waterhouse stars as Arlen, with Jason Momoa, Yolonda Ross, Emily O'Brien, Alina Aliluykina, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna, Jim Carrey, plus the one-and-only Keanu Reeves. This premiered at film festivals last fall to mostly very negative reviews, from many people I trust. Jeremy wrote a review from Fantastic Fest saying that it "seems like something of a big step back" for the director. This is a very curious trailer, this visuals & music are interesting, but I'm still not expecting much.