What's an easy way to win an Oscar nomination, and possibly the Oscar itself? Sign up to be in a biopic based on an infamous figure of modern history, which is what Benicio Del Toro has done with the "based on a true story" film Escobar: Paradise Lost. Check him out in the trailer below.
Latino Review scooped the trailer to the film, which also stars Josh Hutcherson as a surfer who falls in love with Escobar's niece. From that point on, he's slowly welcomed into the family, and ultimately comes to grips with just what being one of Uncle Pablo's children means for one's outlook on life. Spoiler alert: it comes with a price.
Looking at this preview, two thoughts come to mind: Benecio Del Toro is, as usual, method with his performance, and this film is very reminiscent of The Last King Of Scotland. The latter comparison is especially effective because both stories share almost the same exact arc: a normal Joe gets involved in a world that's highly illegal and does not guarantee their safety, only to eventually try and claw their way, tooth and nail, back out of the hole they've dug for themselves.
That's not to say this is necessarily a bad sign for Escobar: Paradise Lost, but with a mid-January release date, it doesn't look like the awards mojo will be with this film. Which is a shame, considering that Escobar: Paradise Lost actually looks more interesting than a lot of movies that also call January their home. Come to think of it, if there's a choice between this film and Tak3n, you can bet that going to see this film look like the much better option.
Also, special consideration should go out to Josh Hutcherson, who seems to have come a long way since his debut in the children's romantic comedy, (and yes, you read that right,) Little Manhattan. It's hard to figure out just why this is the case, but in Escobar: Paradise Lost, Hutcherson actually manages to look convincing while wielding a firearm and hunting down those who would see him die first. Looks like those years in The Hunger Games paid off.
Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel are both ripe subjects, just waiting to have their moment in the theaters. Escobar: Paradise Lost's trailer represents an official start to the wave of 1970's drug trade movies that look ahead. It looks like John Leguizamo had better start badgering Brad Furman into getting a move on the production of King Of Cocaine, because if this film's a hit, it'll be more likely to be left in the dust.
Escobar: Paradise Lost will be released on January 16, 2015.