Redbrick rounds up the week’s trailers, including the new trailer for Jennifer Lawrence’s latest film, Joy.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice returns yet again in another adaptation of Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It takes great source material to warrant so many adaptations and Lewis Carroll’s works are no exception; full of wonder but twisted in parts, Disney managed to maintain the actual wonder and creativity that comes with the story, whilst maintaining its dark tone, and their 1952 adaptation is still one of my favourite Disney adaptations. Conversely, Tim Burton failed to sustain this trend with his own adaptation in 2010, Alice in Wonderland. This waste of time does not hesitate to throw away anything that made the original and Disney entertaining and unique, and Burton yet again brought his stale crew of actors to his typical blend of grey and blue filters. The new film Alice Through the Looking Glass maintains the same cast as Tim Burton’s film, but is thankfully free from the restraints brought by his direction; new director James Bobin (The Muppets) will hopefully bring a more colourful and creative direction to this live action adaptation. From the trailer, I am sceptically looking forward to this new Alice, and I can only hope it catches what made Disney’s so great.
Christmas Eve is going to fail at two things. It is not going to become that Christmas classic that shows every year near Christmas, and it will fail, like many others, at trying to be the next Love Actually. It will be another bland of forgotten films like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. So, here it is again, a medley of actors who have come together in unique circumstances to attempt to create heart-warming and comedic moments, only this time with a somewhat sadistic tone as the actors play victims trapped in an elevator, something emphasised in the trailer with a shot of Patrick Stewart’s character dangling for his life as he fights off the cold. I can already feel my heart warming at the thought of the potential insanity creeping into the characters mind as they spend Christmas Eve trapped with people they openly dislike; oh the festivity brings such joy. Unlike previous films, Christmas Eve even fails to boast about its cast, as the only notable people acting are Patrick Stewart and John Heder. At least Valentine’s Day had exponential talent of Taylor Swift to grace her with her acting prowess on the big screen. I can only pray this film flops and spells the end of this horrible trend of films. If you plan on watching a Christmas film, just watch Die Hard.
Both Tom Edgerton
I Saw the Light
Synonymous with the name Hank Williams is, unfortunately, the word tragedy. The newly released trailer for biopic I Saw the Light certainly appears to channel this, with focuses on the renowned country singer’s countless affairs, along with his drug and alcohol abuse that led to his untimely death at 29. With what look to be promising performances from both Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen (the undoubtedly better Olsen sister – sorry Mary-Kate and Ashley), we’re sure to be treated to an excellent story of Williams’ rich but tragically short life. Directed by Marc Abraham, previously known for his work on In Time and Dawn of the Dead, the film looks as though it will stay true to Williams’ life journey in true biopic fashion, driven by an immaculate cast and what hopes to be fantastic direction. It is no small feat to take on a story that has to portray such a significant impact made to the music world in such a short time, but Abraham has taken on the challenge. The atmospheric chorus of title song I Saw the Light ending the trailer sets up the anticipation we already have for this film, and rest assured we will be singing Hey Good Lookin’ to Hiddleston before you know it.
The first dialogue we hear from the trailer for David O. Russell’s new flick Joy is Jennifer Lawrence’s now household voice giving some important life advice to her daughter: ‘Don’t ever think that the world owes you something, because it doesn’t. The world doesn’t owe you a thing.’ Certainly, the trailer is keen to push the focus onto Lawrence throughout, who, with a best actress Oscar, Hunger Games fame and status as the world’s sweetheart, is undoubtedly the film’s big draw. Other Hollywood mega-stars, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, barely get a look in.
For the third time in four years, Russell is releasing a new flick in collaboration with Lawrence and Cooper just in time for awards season, presumably hoping to strike third time lucky with Oscar success. As with all Russell’s films, Joy’s plot seems to be bizarre and somewhat low on action. It follows the life of Joy Mangano – wife, mother, entrepreneurial inventor of the Wonder Mop – but as with all Russell pictures, it also appears to be well shot, cleverly scripted and brilliantly acted.
As a great fan of the previous Russell/Lawrence/Cooper collaborations (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle), the film appeals hugely. But, as we have seen with once hailed director Tim Burton, the continual use of certain favourite actors becomes distracting and even irritating. The worry for Joy is that we don’t see Joy Mangano’s struggle to become a business woman in a man’s world, we see Hollywood starlet Jennifer Lawrence in her latest turn as Russell’s muse. But Lawrence’s star appeal is legitimately won, and as she stares down the barrel of a loaded shotgun and firmly tells her family not to meddle in her business, we get a sense of the power the film could deliver. The likeability of Russell’s unconventional comedy comes through in De Niro’s great line to his ex-wife: ‘You’re like a gas leak, we don’t see you, we don’t smell you, but you’re silently killing us all.’
My suspicion is that the film will deliver on the trio’s star promise once again, but perhaps this should be the final instalment of the Russell/Lawrence/Cooper’s trilogy.