"Now I have a chance to fight for something." AMBI Group has debuted the first official trailer for James Franco's adaptation of John Steinbeck's acclaimed novel In Dubious Battle, about a group of workers on apple farms in the 1930s who rise up and strike against the landowners. James Franco directs and stars in the film, yet another Franco adaptation, along with Nat Wolff as Jim Nolan, a young recruit who joins the activist and helps organize the strike. The impressive ensemble cast includes Vincent D'Onofrio, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris, Sam Shepard, Selena Gomez, Josh Hutcherson, Ashley Greene, John Savage and Zach Braff. This actually looks pretty damn inspiring, I have to admit, I'm intrigued. Check it.
"Honestly, who cares? I can't trust my feelings." Starz Media & Orion Pictures have released a trailer for the comedy My Blind Brother, about a romantic rivalry between two brothers. Adam Scott stars as the more handsome, athletic sibling along with Nick Kroll as his brother who has always been by his side most of his life. They both fall for the same woman, comedian powerhouse Jenny Slate, causing some chaos that leads to shenanigans which is meant to make people laugh. The cast includes Zoe Kazan, Talia Tabin and Charlie Hewson. While this doesn't look as bad as it sounds, it doesn't look that great either, with a few sparse moments of genuine comedy amidst some awkward scenes of cheesiness. At least it has Jenny Slate.
"What are we doing here?" A trailer has debuted for an indie coming-of-age romantic drama called First Girl I Love, which I saw at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. This sweet little flick is about an awkward love triangle that forms when Anne, played by Dylan Gelula, realizes she is in love with Sasha, the most popular girl at her high school, played by Brianna Hildebrand. She confesses this to her friend Clifton, played by Mateo Arias, who has a thing for her and he gets jealous and it all starts to get awkward. This is a pretty good film, a bit cheesy at times, but it's another solid cinematic story about young first love.
"I always thought this house was haunted…" Momentum has released a trailer for an indie thriller called Jack Goes Home, from actor-turned-filmmaker Thomas Dekker, who both wrote and directed this film. Rory Culkin stars as a magazine editor, along with Britt Robertson as his fiance, who goes back to his home town after learning that his parents are in a deadly car accident. Things get crazy when he returns. "Jack comes to learn that the idyllic world he has believed in since infancy is in fact a nightmare playground full of lies, deception, violence and murder." The full cast includes Lin Shaye, Natasha Lyonne, Nikki Reed, Daveigh Chase and Louis Hunter. This trailer gets very creepy and very weird in the second half.
"What if you do find home and they're not even there, and you just keep searching…?" "I don't have a choice." The Weinstein Company has finally debuted a trailer for the film Lion, from director Garth Davis, a powerful story of finding your home and your family no matter how hard that is. Dev Patel stars as Saroo Brierley, an Indian boy who was adopted by an Australian family and raised in Australia after he became separated from his real family at a young age. He decides to go back to India to search for his family and reconnect with them. The cast includes Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman & David Wenham. This actually looks really good! I've heard some solid buzz about this recently and it looks like it might live up to the hype.
"No man is free who is not master of himself." Fox & Pathe have debuted the official UK trailer for a film called A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike as a married couple. The film tells the true story of Seretse Khama, the king of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker that he married in 1948 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and their governments. This isn't the only film this year about a controversial interracial marriage, as Jeff Nichols' Loving also tells of a story of a marriage that upset many people. But love is love, and that's what is most important. The cast in this one includes Tom Felton, Laura Carmichael, Jack Davenport, Charlotte Hope, and Jessica Oyelowo. As usual, Oyelowo looks like he's giving another magnificent performance.
"Tell André to be careful." The first trailer has arrived for the film Planetarium, from French filmmaker Rebecca Zlotowski, which is premiering at both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals coming up. Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp star as sisters in Paris in the 1930s who have the mysterious supernatural ability to connect with ghosts. The two of them put on performances in the city and make movies, but end up in some other trouble. The full cast includes Emmanuel Salinger, Amira Casar, Pierre Salvadori, and Louis Garrel. This looks very French, with luxurious shots of vintage locations plus romance galore.
"Did you ever look at your daughter?" Kino Lorber has debuted the official US trailer for the indie drama Sand Storm, and Israeli film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It's a drama set in Bedouin village in Southern Israel about a mother and daughter struggling to find their own way and break the rules of the society they live in. The film stars Ruba Blal-Asfour as Jalila, along with Lamis Ammar, Haitham Omari, and Khadija Al Akel. This won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic competition at Sundance this year. Our friend Tomris Laffly said the film knocked her socks off, adding that it's "a slow-burning and suspenseful emotional drama." This trailer hints at an outstanding film.
"If you really feel you can't take this on, you know… That's your right." Amazon Studios has debuted the first trailer for Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea, a film many critics have been raving about since it first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Set in Massachusetts, this very emotional drama stars Casey Affleck as an uncle who has to help take care of a teenage boy, played by Lucas Hedges, when his father suddenly dies. Affleck and Hedges both give awards-worthy performances, but there's so much more to this exceptional film. The cast includes Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams, Matthew Broderick, Gretchen Mol, Tate Donovan and Kara Hayward. This trailer doesn't give away too much, thankfully, but it does setup the story in an engaging way. I've seen the film and it's truly as great as everyone is saying.
"I don't really have a lot of friends…" "I don't either." The Orchard has released a trailer for the award-winning indie drama Miss Stevens, which premiered at SXSW this year and won Best Actress. Lily Rabe stars as a high school English teacher who chaperones three of her students on a weekend trip to a drama competition, and things get pretty interesting. The cast includes Rob Huebel, Oscar Nuñez, Timothée Chalamet and Lili Reinhart. From this trailer, this film definitely looks like a quirky gem worth seeking out, with some vital wisdom for adults as well as teens. I'm curious about it. Worth taking a look at below.
"One, two three…" Monument Releasing has debuted the official US trailer for a film called Chronic, a drama starring Tim Roth which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Roth plays a home care nurse who works with terminally ill patients at their home, isolating himself from the burdens of his past. The cast includes Elizabeth Tulloch, Michael Cristofer, David Dastmalchian, Tate Ellington, Sarah Sutherland and Claire van der Boom. This looks like it's a very tough film to watch with some complex emotional aspects, but it has played at numerous film festivals and won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes, so there's definitely something to it. As usual, Tim Roth looks outstanding in his role. See below.
"No party, alright!" Oscilloscope has debuted a trailer for the upcoming release of an Australian coming-of-age indie comedy called Girl Asleep, the filmmaking debut of theater director Rosemary Myers. The film stars Bethany Whitmore as Greta Driscoll, a girl about to turn fifteen whose whole life is thrown into disarray when her parents invite the whole school to her surprise birthday party. It has been described as "equal measures Wes Anderson and Lewis Carroll", which sounds quite appealing, and an "enchanting journey into the absurd – and sometimes scary – depths of the teenage mind." The cast includes Harrison Feldman, Matthew Whittet, Amber McMahon, Eamon Farren and others. This looks so weird and so wacky and definitely Wes Anderson-inspired, but it seems like it will be fun to watch. Have a look below.
"You are alone in your rebellion, Ms. Dickinson." Get ready to be enthralled by the words and emotions of Emily Dickinson. A festival trailer has debuted for the film A Quiet Passion, from director Terence Davis (whose other film Sunset Song was just released in theaters this year). Cynthia Nixon stars as the legendary poet Emily Dickinson in this "luminous biopic". Also starring Jennifer Ehle, Keith Carradine, Duncan Duff, Jodhi May, Joanna Bacon and Catherine Bailey. These kind of intense period pieces aren't usually my thing, and I'm not that curious about this. However, the music they used for this trailer definitely got my attention. It's the track "Stars Wait For Us" by Plu-Ton and it seems odd, but totally works.
"What is this all about?!" Screen Media Films has debuted a trailer for the indie comedy Zoom, about a comic book artist played by the talented Alison Pill (seen in Milk, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Midnight in Paris, Goon, Snowpiercer, Hail Caesar!, and "The Newsroom"). This is a funky mashup because it combines the rather crazy live-action story with an animated (or perhaps rotoscoped?) comic book story, which is all of her frustrations come to life after they've been illustrated on paper. Gael García Bernal plays the primary, suave comic book character, and the rest of the cast includes Tyler Labine, Jason Priestley, Mariana Ximenes, Don McKellar and Michael Eklund. This actually looks fun in a quirky way, and I like the way they mix the animated comics with the real world story. Might be worth watching when it's out.