"There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide." Roadside Attractions + Vertical Ent. have revealed the official trailer for an indie film titled The Forgiven, the latest from filmmaker John Michael McDonagh (Calvary, War on Everyone). This premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival to some mixed reviews, but I'm still curious to give it a look when it opens this summer. The Forgiven takes place over a weekend in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of both the local Muslims, and Western visitors to a house party in a grand villa. Ralph Fiennes & Jessica Chastain star as wealthy Londoners on a trip to a party at a lavish villa, who end up in trouble after a tragic accident with a local teenage boy. The full cast also includes Matt Smith, Ismael Kanater, Caleb Landry Jones, Abbey Lee, with Saïd Taghmaoui and Christopher Abbott. This looks like an impressively smart film about, as one of the quotes states, "the haves and the have nots." We recommend giving this trailer a watch.
"What a tragic story." Cohen Media Group has revealed their official trailer for this indie Greek comedy called Apples, which originally premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival a few years back. We posted a promo trailer then and reviewed it out of Venice (it's superb!) but now that it's finally landing in theaters in the US, we're happy to feature it again. After a pandemic causes people to develop sudden amnesia, a man is enrolled in a recovery program designed to create new memories. The film evokes profound questions: "Are we the sum of the images we compile and display of ourselves, or are we something richer, and deeper?" Apples stars Aris Servetalis, Sofia Georgovassili, Anna Kalaitzidou, Argyris Bakirtzis, & Kostas Laskos. It's a very bleak film but so creative and captivating, highly recommend catching it when it opens.
"Come on down and tell Dad what you saw." Cinetic has unveiled a festival promo trailer for the film titled R.M.N., the latest from acclaimed, award-winning Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu. It's premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival later this week, which is where Mungiu won the Palme d'Or back in 2007 for his chilling abortion film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The synopsis is a bit vague but still interesting: A non-judgmental analysis of the driving forces of human behavior when confronted with the unknown, of the way we perceive the other and on how we relate to an unsettling future. Mungiu also provides this quote about the title: "I feel I owe one explanation: RMN in English is NMR: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance – basically a brain investigation. Given how the world looks today, I feel we need one.” The film stars Judith State and Marin Grigore. I still have no idea what's going on, but this trailer is so intriguing & peculiar, I'm even more excited to find out exactly what's happening here. Looking forward to catching it in Cannes.
"Death is a hard way to make a living." LevelFilm has revealed an official trailer for the indie dark comedy The Middle Man, the latest film made by an award-winning Norwegian filmmaker named Bent Hamer - one of his biggest hits was the indie Factotum from 2005 with Matt Dillon. This new one already premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, but it hasn't made its way down to the US yet despite taking place in the US. The film is set in Karmack, a small town in the American Midwest that is so economically depressed that it hires Frank Farrelli as a middle man to deliver bad news to people because none of the residents can bear to do it themselves anymore. Norwegian actor Pål Sverre Hagen stars as Frank, with a cast including Don McKellar, Kenneth Welsh, Paul Gross, Trond Fausa, Aksel Hennie, and Bill Lake. This looks like a very strange, awkward film but it's also made by an experienced filmmaker and doesn't seem half bad.
"I often think of moments we spent together. They're like gifts." Madman Films in Australia has debuted an official trailer for a French indie drama titled The Passengers of the Night, ahead of it premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in June. The film first screened at the Berlin Film Festival, but it didn't really pick up any great reviews. Set in 1981 in Paris, this is sort of an autobiographical tale of a French family. Left by her husband, Elisabeth finds herself alone, responsible for the day-to-day care of her two children. She picks up a job on a night-time radio show, where she meets the free-spirited Talulah, a youngster she decides to take under her wing. "This heart-warming film is filled with small acts of kindness that have profound effects." Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as Elisabeth, joined by Noée Abita as Talulah, Quito Rayon Richter, Megan Northam, Thibault Vinçon, and Emmanuelle Béart. This film does indeed have an impressive soundtrack and some nice cinematography, but there's not much more to it than that. I saw this at Berlinale and didn't care for it much unfortunately, but that's just my own personal take on it. Worth a look anyway.
"Time passes and suddenly you realize, 'this is it.'" Vertical Entertainment has revealed an official trailer for an indie film titled The Road to Galena, which will be out to watch starting this July. The film is another of these "what if you had everything, but you still felt something was missing?" kind of existential dramas. Power lawyer Cole Baird has all the trappings of success, but behind the façade, he’s crippled by a career he never wanted and a dream left behind. He now has a choice to make: continue a life of emptiness or follow the path to happiness back to his small, rural hometown. "A touching story of one man's quiet desperation giving way to fulfillment; a story that motivates us to travel our own roads toward a more meaningful life." The film stars Ben Winchell as Cole, Will Brittain, Jay O. Sanders, Jill Hennessy, Alisa Allapach, Jennifer Holliday, plus Margaret Colin, and Aimee Teegarden. Looks like a wholesome story about coming to realize money isn't everything, and that a simpler life might be better than one more glamorous.
"I want to go on an adventure. Everything is lovely." Time to meet your new best friend! Focus Features has revealed an official trailer for Brian and Charles, one of the most delightful and charming discoveries out of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. This extra quirky buddy comedy is pretty much a Taika Waititi-esque creation, but through the lens of filmmaker Jim Archer and comedian David Earl, who plays Brian. After a particularly harsh winter Brian goes into a deep depression; completely isolated and with no one to talk to, Brian does what any sane person would do when faced with such a situation. He builds a robot. It turns out Brian's best invention… is also his best friend. A friend named Charles Petrescu. David Earl co-stars with Chris Hayward as Charles, joined by Louise Brealey, Jamie Michie, Nina Sosanya, Lynn Hunter, and Cara Chase. This is adapted from their own short film that we featured on FS last fall - and it's one of the best feature adaptations of a short ever made. Highly recommend watching.
"There are nuns out there with more sexual experience than me…" Searchlight Pictures has unveiled their own official US trailer for Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, one of my faves from this year's Sundance Film Festival. We already posted the UK trailer last month, and the US release is coming up this summer on Hulu. Emma Thompson stars as Nancy Stokes, a retired schoolteacher and widow, who is yearning for some adventure, some human connection, and some sex. Good sex. Stokes is now 55 and after spending so much time with her husband who was never any good at sex, she decides to make an appointment with a stunning sex worker named Leo Grande, played by Daryl McCormack. The entire film is the two of them conversing about any & everything from sex to love to life and beyond. I was hoping my own quote about how "this little film is one huge step forward in sex positive cinema" might be in the trailer, but I'm happy to support this charming, sexy film about learning to love your body and enjoy the pleasures of sex. Have fun.
"You're human, aren't you?" "Nope." Film Movement has revealed the official US trailer for Bad Roads, a feature film based on a stage play originally presented in London at the Royal Court Theater. This was also Ukraine's submission to the 2022 Academy Awards, before the current war started up. Four short stories are set along the treacherous roads of Donbas during the war. There are no safe spaces and no one can make sense of what is going on with all the uncertainty in the region. Even as they are trapped in the chaos, some manage to wield authority over others. But in this world, where tomorrow may never come, not everyone is defenseless and miserable. Even the most innocent victims may have their turn at taking charge… Starring Zoya Baranovska, Maryna Klimova, Anna Zhuravska, Ihor Koltovskyy, & Andriy Lelyukh. This looks like an intense, very bleak set of stories about how awful war is – let's hope it can make a difference.
"Keep moving forward." "It's the only direction we have." Vertical has revealed a fun trailer for Wyrm, an awkward indie comedy from filmmaker Christopher Winterbauer. This was his feature debut, adapting his own short film (that we posted back in 2019), and it initially premiered in 2019 at Fantastic Fest. It's never been released until now, and in the meantime Winterbauer made a movie for HBO called Moonshot. In an alternative 1990s that feels equal parts Yorgos Lanthimos and Todd Solondz (but gentler), an awkward teen must complete a school requirement in which students wear electronic collars that detach only upon their first kiss. Scary! Will he pass his Level One or end held back and embarrassed? They definitely sounds like a cousin to Lanthimos' The Lobster. It stars Theo Taplitz as Wyrm, Lulu Wilson, Sosie Bacon, Natasha Rothwell, Paula Pell, Azure Brandi; with Tommy Dewey, Dan Bakkedahl, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lukas Gage, & Jenna Ortega. Looks quite good, my kind of quirky indie like they made back in the 90s.
"Dad never thought I was crazy!" Cartel & To The Stars has revealed a teaser trailer for a mysterious sci-fi thriller project titled Monsters of California, arriving sometime later this year. This has a vintage look and feel, referencing the kind of low-budget sci-fi movies they don't make anymore. Marking the directorial debut of rocker Tom DeLonge (of Blink 182 and Angels & Airwaves), Monsters of California follows the teenager Dallas Edwards and his misfit friends as they attempt to unearth answers to a series of mysterious, paranormal events happening around Southern California. They soon begin to unravel the extraordinary secrets held within the deepest levels of the Government. The film stars Richard Kind, Casper Van Dien (Johnny Rico!!), Arianne Zucker, Camille Kostek, Gabrielle Haugh, Jack Samson, Jared Scott, and Jack Lancaster. This doesn't look half bad, but there's so much going on in this teaser it's a bit hard to make any sense of it. I hope the big reveal with the UFO isn't something too cheesy or obvious. Check it out.
"It feels like a lifetime in this room, but I have never known…" Netflix has debuted a trailer for Trees of Peace, a true story film available for streaming later this summer. Four women from different backgrounds forge an unbreakable sisterhood while trapped and in hiding during the genocide in Rwanda. Inspired by true events. This premiered at film festivals last year, including at the American Black Film Festival in the fall, where it won the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film. In April of 1994, four women from different backgrounds and beliefs are trapped and hiding during the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Their fight for survival against all odds unites the women in an unbreakable sisterhood. Starring Eliane Umuhire, Charmaine Bingwa, Ella Cannon, Bola Koleosho, and Tongayi Chirisa. This really looks quite beautiful, a heart-wrenching story about the struggle of survival and resilience. See the preview below.