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The arrival of the fall season means that we will soon be seeing all kinds of big studio dramas released - all hoping for their own little chance at Oscar gold. One of those titles this year is David Gordon Green's Our Brand Is Crisis, which just released its debut trailer online.
This new dramedy from Warner Bros. is set to debut this week at the Toronto International Film Festival (before arriving in theaters in late October), and it looks primed to be a heavy competitor during the 2015 award season. There is a tremendous sense that this movie is doing everything it can to try and create an energy and atmosphere akin to Ben Affleck's Argo - and I'm not just saying that because George Clooney and Grant Heslov are serving the same roles on the movie as they did on the 2012 Best Picture winner. It's something about the way the "stranger than fiction" kind of plot fits over real world political drama.
Essentially a remake of the 2005 documentary of the same name, Our Brand Is Crisis stars Sandra Bullock as 'Calamity' Jane Bodine, a famous-yet-retired political consultant who gets called back into the game when she is called upon by Pedro Gallo (Joaquim de Almeida), a rich Bolivian politician who wants to be president but is way behind in the polls. Bodine accepts the mission in South America, but realizes that she faces an uphill climb - both because of how behind Gallo is and because of who is supporting her opponent: fellow ace political consultant and rival Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton).
What really stands out watching this trailer is just the tone that the movie is working to strike. David Gordon Green has great experience in both drama and comedy, and it looks like he has used his time in both camps to influence Our Brand Is Crisis. It certainly doesn't hurt that he is working with a terrific ensemble of actors who also have spent a lot of time both making us laugh and making us cry. In case you missed them in the preview, this impressive cast list also includes Anthony Mackie, Zoe Kazan, Scoot McNairy (another Argo connection) and Ann Dowd.
Along with many other big high-profile movies, Our Brand Is Crisis is going to be premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this Friday, and right after the screening we should have a very clear idea of exactly where the film will stand in the coming award season. After that, though, regular movie-goers will get a shot to see it for themselves on October 30th. Hopefully what we're seeing in the trailer winds up being an accurate reflection of the final cut, and if it is we may be in for a real treat.