Award-Worthy Trailer Briefs

Award season is almost here, and all the prestige pieces you could ever want are hitting theaters in the next two months. Some will make money, others will make history. But how do we know if they’ll be any good? Over the next three weeks, Daily Arts is taking a look at the trailers for the season’s most anticipated films.


By Imran Syed,
Daily Arts Writer

“Gran Torino”
Warner Bros.
December 17

“Gran Torino” — directed by and starring the legendary Clint Eastwood — is rumored to be Eastwood’s farewell to acting. In the film’s superbly underplayed trailer, the 78-year-old 4-time Oscar-winning actor/director brings unmatched intensity to this story about a gruff Korean War veteran, his Hmong neighbors and violent neighborhood gangs.

The trailer makes this look like perfect Oscar bait: A serene balance of emotion and humor, and you really get the sad feeling that Eastwood’s heroic character will die at the end (just a guess). Nevertheless, if the film (shot entirely in Michigan) is as gripping and poignant as the trailer, Eastwood might be the favorite to take home the best-actor Oscar that has thus far eluded him.

There seems to be a rare blend of raw emotion and competent, measured directing in this film. Not only will the subtlety appeal to audiences, but it should also mean multiple Oscar nominations. And you’d want to chalk up this potent drama as a strong contender in the best director and best picture categories too — if for no other reason than because Eastwood’s films always contend in those major categories. “Gran Torino” has all the makings of a very memorable ride into the sunset for Hollywood’s last cowboy.


By Annie Levene,
Daily Arts Writer

“Australia”
20th Century Fox
November 26

Oh, Nicole Kidman.

You are often presented as a talented actress, but if you continue to Botox your face free of any wrinkles, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to keep playing the very dramatic characters you enjoy so much.

Looking past Kidman’s baby-bottom-smooth forehead, this trailer for “Australia” hints at a movie full of beautiful visuals — including vast, rolling countrysides and Hugh Jackman’s washboard abs.

Yes, it’s a classical period drama with Kidman and Jackman. And that could spell trouble since the overdone “romance that crosses class barriers” storyline is, well, overdone. Nevertheless, the scene where the two lovers are curled up in bed looks pretty hot. So there’s that.

The historical element of the film, set during World War II, promises to bring legitimate drama. But it remains to be seen how much of the film will focus on true-life events and how much will rely on the chemistry between Kidman and Jackman. If “Australia” can follow in the footsteps of “Moulin Rouge!” — the last collaboration between director Baz Lurhmann and Kidman — it should be sure to make some box office bank, even if it’s not a critical success.

Then again, the film’s ending did undergo a re-shoot this past week…

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