2014 will be a huge year for fans of novelist Nick Hornby. His near future includes two screenplays in differing stages of production, NBC’s series version of About a Boy, and Pascal Chaumeil’s upcoming adaptation of the 2005 novel A Long Way Down, which dropped both its first trailer and first poster into the Internet. Will it add brightness to your day, or only misery? Depends on how dark your sense of humor gets, I suppose.

A Long Way Down features a solid cast for its challenging lead characters, including the disgraced former talk show host Martin (Pierce Brosnan), the troubled mother with a disabled son Maureen (Toni Collette), the former musician J.J. (Aaron Paul) and teenager Jess (Imogen Poots), whose rebellious nature is only one of the many problems tormenting her home life. Their paths all cross one New Year’s Eve night on top of a London high-rise that each aims to leap from in a suicide attempt. They form an alternative support group and promise each other to stay alive until Valentine’s Day. And in the meantime, emotions happen.

The trailer, via Digital Spy, isn't tonally sound, mostly due to the sappily generic music undercutting the humor and freeing every smile and teary eye from weight, out of context though they may be. Otherwise, I think it looks like a film that won't be afraid to cut deep when it needs to, and it should be another successful trip for Hornby’s words to the big screen. A lot of the plot arcs made their way into the preview, so I’m anticipating the witty conversations that went unseen.

Much of the focus surrounding Paul’s post-Breaking Bad career has been on Need for Speed, but it’s great that he’ll also be filling 2014 working with highly talented actors in more subdued dramas like this. (Assuming depression and suicide count as subdued.) Rounding out the supporting cast are Sam Neill, Rosamund Pike and Tuppence Middleton, giving the film an immense amount of depth when it comes to thesps in front of the camera.

When I said "depth" just then, did you perhaps picture a down arrow or a general idea of downward motion? That kind of barely subliminal messaging is used repeatedly on the film’s chummy poster, seen below.

a long way down poster

Sadly, it’s still unknown when U.S. audiences will get to see A Long Way Down in theaters. The film is heading to the Berlin Film Festival next month for its world premiere, and U.K. audiences will be able to catch it on March 21. Just don’t go jumping off of any buildings between now and then.

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