Winona Ryder had one of her best roles in years in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, playing the former superstar at the ballet company who's eventually dethroned by Natalie Portman. The thriller genre clearly worked out for Ryder that time, but it's unclear if it can work a second time, as evidenced by the new trailer for The Letter, in which Ryder and James Franco appear to be starring in a film slightly more professional looking than a student film. Actually, I've seen student films that look way more put together than this. See what I mean in the trailer below.
The official plot says Ryder's character "has periods of disorientation that quickly deteriorate into vivid hallucinations as she becomes convinced someone is trying to poison her. As Martine's mental state devolves she begins to rewrite her play… and art and life become inseparable." All that sounds a whole lot like Black Swan, but I didn't see a whole lot of that in the trailer. In fact, I didn't see a whole lot of anything-- the whole point of this trailer seems to be to disorient you as much as possible, showing Franco threatening various people, Ryder losing her mind bit by bit, and introducing a handful of side characters with no explanation of how they fit into the narrative.
If this trailer didn't have the Lionsgate logo in front of it I'd assume it was coming from some tiny distributor and we'd never actually see it-- but apparently The Letter is coming to a VOD system near you, and you'll have a chance to catch the madness for yourself. And to think, it all started out so promising, looking like the next step in Ryder's much-deserved comeback. I still think that's very possible, but from the looks of it, The Letter is not going to help make that happen.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend
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