Trailer Talk #3

Image: Netflix

Well, well, well. Joker has set the film world alight. Having received its premiere in Venice this week the much-anticipated Todd Phillips/Jaoquin Phoenix take on one of the world’s most iconic villains has caused an almighty stir amongst critics, prompting both great praise and serious ire. Whilst the debate about the film will surely rage on for weeks, nay months, it seems absurd to get too drawn into the disagreement without having seen the film. What we can comment on, however, is the first full-length trailer for the film, which dropped this week. Building on the melancholy, disturbing first trailer this preview keeps the same tone and runs with it, letting us glimpse the film’s full scale. The film’s place as a dark, satirical take on society is clear when the trailer gives us a short of an energetic crowd wearing clown masks. This is a Joker that is causing all sorts of trouble both on-screen and off.

Also debuting at the Venice Film Festival this week was The King. Mouth-wateringly exciting on paper, this sees Animal Kingdom director David Michôd teaming up with co-writer and star Joel Edgerton to adapt three Shakespeare plays in one, with Timothée Chalamet as the titular regal lead. Chalamet is less floppy-haired than usual in this first trailer as young King Henry V, struggling with his responsibility of taking charge of the nation. The trailer promises much brooding and some battling, with great emphasis on Chalamet himself. The plays it is based on have many pivotal characters, but this seems to be predominantly the story of one man and his struggle with power. The supporting cast includes Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Ben Mendelsohn, Robert Pattinson, and Edgerton as the rascally Falstaff, but this looks like it will be Chalamet’s film.

Yet another film coinciding a trailer release with initial buzz out of Venice is The Laundromat, the latest film from Steven Soderbergh. Meryl Streep as a widow investigating a fraud that leads her to the the real-life Panama Papers scandal sounds like compelling, serious and earnest filmmaking. This trailer is anything but. Whilst Soderbergh may well take a serious approach at times in his film this preview is an often hilarious hoot. The clips of Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas as fourth-wall breaking, OTT lawyers in ridiculous suits is one of the many promises The Laundromat’s trailer makes that this will be a true-life tale well worth keeping an eye on.

Not at the Venice Film Festival, but soon to be in both Toronto and London admittedly, is The Aeronauts, director Tom Harper’s follow-up to the fantastic Wild Rose. Reuniting The Theory of Everything leads Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne looking for discoveries on a hot-air balloon voyage, this trailer starts as the advert for a typical stirring period drama, with Jones fighting prejudice and Redmayne fighting the scientific naysayers. The trailer takes a turn, however, and suggests that the film will too, once the pair are up in their flying machine. Sincere ambition soon turns into a white-knuckle fight for survival as the pair’s fate hangs in the balance. Whether the film will lean more on its wider-picture drama or heat-of-the-moment thrills is yet to be seen.

Rounding out this week is a second trailer for the TV Fargo creator Noah Hawley’s Lucy in the Sky. Fans of space stuff might be excited by this trailer, but it is even more enticing for fans of Natalie Portman fighting for something and going slightly crazy. Black Swan and Jackie have shown us that Portman is an astonishing actress, and her talents seem to have an excellent vehicle in this drama. In the trailer we see her astronaut Lucy Cola fight with those around her as she adjusts to life back home and aims for another trip into the great unknown. It is an enticing teaser of what is to come, doing some jazzy things with aspect ratios and promising an excellent supporting cast, with Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Zazie Beetz and Dan Stevens all on show.

Andrew Young