Yesterday, trailers for two of the year's most anticipated films dropped: The Homesman, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, who also stars alongside Hillary Swank, Hailee Steinfeld, Meryl Streep, and others, and Map to the Stars, David Cronenberg's new film starring Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams, et al. Trailers and commentary after the jump!
On paper, The Homesman looks like it's potentially one of the year's strongest Oscar contenders (and I say "on paper" because that's pretty much all we have this early in the year). It has an Oscar-friendly director and cast, a baity story (that of two settlers taking three local women to a sanitarium), and looks to be operating in that light-yet-important/interesting-yet-safe/artistic-yet-digestable register AMPAS loves to reward. From an awards stance, The Homesman looks like it may figure in rather significantly later this year, but it's still April. Critically, it looks decent, but there are a few pieces which give me pause: the biggest problem appears to be the tone, which seemed to be oscillating between serious and (accidentally?) glib and light. With this apparent tonal problem came a sense of awkwardness as well, but this looks like a film that could go either way in terms of quality. Here's the trailer:
The next film, Map to the Stars, Cronenberg's take on elite Hollywood actors, looks decidedly more interesting. The content of the trailer rules out too much awards attention unless its really great, confirming that it's really weird Cronenberg, not just weird Cronenberg, the latter of whom can sometimes end up on Oscar's radar (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises). Nevertheless, it looks like a really interesting film, and Moore and Cusack seem to be challenging themselves for the first time in a year or two for Moore and much longer for Cusack. The trailer's been taken off Youtube, but the international red-band trailer