"This mission requires the very best." Netflix has debuted a trailer for Sergio, an indie drama premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this month. Inspired by a documentary also titled Sergio, the director of that doc makes his first narrative feature telling the story of a UN diplomat working in the world’s most unstable regions. The film is set in the chaotic aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, where the life of top UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello hangs in the balance during the most treacherous mission of his career. "Inspired by a true story, Sergio is a sweeping drama focused on a man pushed to his physical and emotional limits as he's forced to confront his own divisive choices about ambition, family, and his capacity to love." Starring Wagner Moura as Sergio, with Ana de Armas as his love interest, plus Garret Dillahunt, Clemens Schick, Will Dalton, Bradley Whitford, and Brían F. O'Byrne. This looks like a solid drama, with a dash of political commentary, but mostly a story about perseverance and the challenges of being a diplomat.
"People deal with the loss of a loved one in a lot of ways…" The first official trailer has debuted for an indie revenge drama titled A Patient Man, marking the feature directorial debut of veteran editor Kevin Ward. Tom has been in a terrible car accident. After four months of recovering from his injuries, he starts the long process of putting his life back together again. And also begins planning revenge on the person responsible. It's pretty obvious from the trailer what's going on, so it's not really a spoiler or anything, but this does look like a tricky setup for a film to make you wonder what's really happening. Jonathan Mangum stars with Tate Ellington, plus a small cast including Kelsey Scott, David Jahn, Elaine Loh, and Amir Talai. This looks like a low key psychological drama that may be worth a watch. I also dig the minimalistic poster.
"At the end of the day, we're all Monsters, aren't we…?" Net Films, Dreamfilms, and Asgard International have unveiled the first official trailer for an experimental new take on the "Frankenstein" story from Greece, titled simply Frankenstein, or Φrankenstein. Directed by Costas Zapas, it is described as "an enticing, refreshing take of the classic novel that re-introduces its iconic characters in a gothic film for an entirely new viewers generation. A haunted fairytale in a graphic novel film." The plot follows a young woman who interviews a theatre troupe in town to perform "Frankenstein", confronted with the dark heroes of the novel. Starring Elli Tsitsipa, Andonis Goritsas, Dimitra Hatoupi, Vassilis Bisbikis, Danai Papoutsi, Demetre Georgalas, and Nikolitsa Drizi; with Louis Mandylor. This looks way too experimental and way too stylized, lacking much substance. Maybe watch Larry Fessendens's Depraved instead? Check it out.
"Don't you want to get married before I die?" Blue Fox Entertainment has unveiled an official trailer for an indie romantic comedy titled A Simple Wedding, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2018 and also played at the San Diego & Austin Film Festivals. A Simple Wedding is the feature directorial debut of Iranian-American filmmaker Sara Zandieh, telling a personal story about an Iranian-American woman who meets a bisexual man and falls in love with him. When she tries to plan the wedding, things get chaotic when her parents discover they're already living together before marriage. Starring Tara Grammy, Christopher O'Shea, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rita Wilson, Maz Jobrani, Peter Mackenzie, James Eckhouse, Houshang Touzie, and Jaleh Modjallel. This looks extra cheesy, but still charming and fun.
"Are we homeless?" "We're no more homeless than anyone else here." Vertical Entertainment has debuted an official US trailer for the indie drama The Kindness of Strangers, the latest film by Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (of An Education, One Day, The Riot Club, Their Finest). This originally premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year as the opening night film, and is getting a small US release on Valentine's Day coming up. The ensemble drama is one of those films where various characters around a city eventually all come together. The main character is a young woman named Clara, played by Zoe Kazan, who takes her kids and runs away from an abusive husband who also happens to be a cop. She finds solace in "the kindness of strangers", staying at a shelter and at a church while she tries to figure out what to do. Also stars Andrea Riseborough, Tahar Rahim, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel, Bill Nighy, and David Dencik. It's a nice film that tries very hard to be moving and inspiring, but critics have not been so kind to this one.
"We're rebels… bandits… warriors…" Picturehouse Cinemas in the UK has revealed a new official UK trailer for the Australian indie drama True History of the Kelly Gang, which opens in Australia this month. This is the latest feature from Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel, of The Snowtown Murders and Macbeth previously, and it's a re-envisioning of the tall tale of an Australian bush-ranger named Ned Kelly and his gang as they flee from the authorities during the 1870s. If you're from Australia, you probably know the story, but if not - this flips the whole story on its head anyway. "Youth and tragedy collide in the Kelly Gang, and at the beating heart of this tale is the fractured and powerful love story between a mother and a son." Starring George MacKay (from 1917) as Ned Kelly, Essie Davis as his mother Ellen Kelly, plus Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, Thomasin McKenzie, Sean Keenan, Earl Cave, Orlando Schwerdt, and Charlie Hunnam. This is an excellent trailer, drawing you into the madness and mystery of this folk tale.
"There's always a price to be paid…" Vertical Ent. has unveiled the official US trailer for a WWII survival thriller titled Waiting for Anya, the latest film from British writer-director Ben Cookson. Adapted from the novel by the author of "War Horse", Waiting for Anya follows Jo Lalande, a thirteen-year-old shepherd boy, and reclusive widow Horcada, who work together in their small village to help smuggle Jewish children into Spain during the harrows of WWII. They come up with a tricky plan to get all the children across the border from southern France into Spain to escape the Nazis. The indie film stars Noah Schnapp as Jo, as well as Jean Reno, Frederick Schmidt, Sadie Frost, Gilles Marini, Thomas Kretschmann, plus Anjelica Huston as Horcada. It seems like an inspiring story to tell, and hopefully they made a good film.
"When I close my eyes, you are there…" Signature Ent. UK has debuted a trailer for an indie romance titled Premature, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year - one year ago. It went on to play the San Francisco, Dallas, Montclair, Seattle, London, Denver, and Hawaii Film Festivals in 2019. Premature a romantic drama in the vein of If Beale Street Could Talk or Blue Valentine. Set in Harlem, Zora Howard stars as a young woman who meets "handsome and mysterious outsider" Isaiah, played by Joshua Boone. Then "her entire world is turned upside down on her path towards self-discovery as she travails the rigorous terrain of young love the summer before she leaves for college." Of course. Also starring Michelle Wilson, Alexis Marie Wint, Imani Lewis, & Tashiana Washington. I dig the grainy, old school look and feel.
"For once in your life, can you be bloody normal?" "I am normal! Very normal." Bleecker Street Films has debuted a brand new US trailer for an indie cancer drama titled simply Ordinary Love, from directors Lisa Barros D'Sa & Glenn Leyburn (Cherrybomb and Good Vibrations). This premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year to rave reviews and plenty of acclaim for the two lead performances. The short pitch for this is perfect: an extraordinary look at ordinary love. Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville (from Phantom Thread) star as a long-standing couple facing a potentially life-changing cancer diagnosis. We featured a UK trailer last fall, the film is getting a US release in theaters next month. The very small cast includes David Wilmot, Amit Shah, Esh Alladi, and Geraldine McAlinden. It looks like a remarkably tender, honest, heartbreaking and also heart-filling look at the extraordinary power of love in tough times. Worth a watch.
"I don't really have a life…" Shout Factory has debuted a trailer for an indie dramedy titled Standing Up, Falling Down, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year. The film is described as a comedy about the unlikely friendship that kindles between a struggling stand-up comedian from Los Angeles, forced to move back home to Long Island with his tail between his legs, and a tragically flawed, but charming and charismatic, alcoholic dermatologist. Discovering to be kindred spirits, each helps the other find healing, in addition to the confidence to face the "failures" in their lives. Ben Schwartz co-stars with Billy Crystal, they're joined by Eloise Mumford, Grace Gummer, Nate Corddry, Debra Monk, and Kevin Dunn. This looks like your typical cliche indie, with lost loves and all the usual struggles everyone deals with in life.
"We have to take what we can when the taking is good." A24 has debuted the first official trailer for First Cow, the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (of Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, Night Moves). This premiered at the Telluride & New York Film Festivals last fall, and is arriving in US theaters in March this year. Not too long of a wait for those excited for Reichardt's new work. The film is indeed about a big ole cow, what a surprise. A loner and cook named Cookie, played by John Magaro, has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds connection with a Chinese immigrant - played by Orion Lee. The men collaborate on a business, although its longevity is reliant upon the participation of a wealthy landowner's prized milking cow. The small cast includes Alia Shawkat, Scott Shepherd, Toby Jones, and Ewen Bremner. A very unique film that's worth a watch.
"I don't understand your hip hop numbers!" Gravitas Ventures has released a final trailer for indie comedy Appiness, which is arriving on VOD this month. The film is the directorial debut of a Canadian composer-actor-writer named Eli Batalion, who also stars in & produces this in addition to writing & directing. When Eric and Raj, old high school buds, try to build the next great app and become billionaires - they don't. Their app is called "Connect2U" but this seems to be more of a goofy comedy about how making an app isn't such a good idea. Starring Eli Batalion, Varun Saranga, Amber Goldfarb, Mike Paterson, Susan Bain, Kathleen Stavert, and Derek Johns. No surprise, this doesn't seem like it's really worth anyone's time.