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Director Gregg Araki isn’t what one might call a popular filmmaker, though he has a populous and vocal fanbase that have stuck close to him during his 16-year long career. With the upcoming White Bird in a Blizzard, he moves back into dramatic territories after two wildly different trips into offbeat comedy with Kaboom andSmiley Face. And this oddly-paced first look seen above teases just enough information to easily draw me into this potentially horrifying family story.
In the center of White Bird is Kat Connor (Shailene Woodley), a young woman who finds her life is thrown into an uproar following the mysterious disappearance of her mother Eve, played by Eva Green. We see her physically disappear in the trailer, via The Film Stage. She fades from view and we’re stuck wondering just what in the hell was happening in the clip that opened the preview.
Kat walks into a bedroom and catches a dazed and most certainly confused Eve passed out on the bed, still dressed in clothes meant for a night out, or a fancy night in. Only it’s five in the afternoon, and Eve needs to make dinner. There’s something so disconcerting about that moment, especially when it’s followed by her fading out of the picture. I don’t really need Woodley’s voiceover explaining things, but it isn’t worth making a fuss over.
I’m glad the trailer showcases this big cast of talented actors, which should help to draw in crowds that may not be so familiar with Woodley or Araki’s work. (Woodley will soon become widely seen in both Summit Entertainment’s Divergent and another YA adaptation The Fault in Our Stars.) Beyond the two female leads, we also have Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Sheryl Lee, Jacob Artist, Angela Bassett and Gabourey Sidibe, the latter two of which have been starring together on FX’s American Horror Story. This is arguably the best cast Araki has ever worked with, and I have faith that it’ll be a strong showing from everyone. After all, it’s not Smiley Face 2.
There’s no release date set yet for the Why Not Productions film, but it will debut on January 20 for the Sundance Film Festival. In the meantime, these two images from the film should keep you busy.