It’s Greta Gerwig’s world, we just live in it. From making mumblecore magic in Hannah Takes the Stairs and LOL to working with the likes of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman, Frances Ha herself (a character she created with her partner Noah Baumbach) has moved to the other side of the camera.
But before we dive into the preview for Ladybird, Gerwig’s auspicious solo directorial debut, we must give a nod to the fresh-and-hot teaser for period piece Hostiles.
Ooh, where’s Christian Bale aiming his revolver? Could it be at an Academy Award nomination? Director Scott Cooper struck awards-show gold once before with 2009’s Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges. His previous collaboration with Bale (2013’s Out of the Furnace), however, has all of a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While Crazy Heart was a bittersweet old country song and Out of the Furnace was more of a blue-collar stadium ballad, Hostiles feels positively operatic. It also looks like a contemporary Western Bingo card: Wide shots! A house on fire! Shallow graves! Tumbleweeds! Screaming pioneer women! Horses! Did we mention death? In this trailer, the very wildness of the West seems to echo the brutal imagery we see onscreen, as Bale spells it out for us in voice-over: This story is set in a time and place forgotten by goodness, love, mercy, and grace. Can you say date night?
While at first glance, these two upcoming releases may not seem like they have anything in common, they do—both are takes on familiar genres (Western and coming-of-age, respectively), both screened at Telluride and will go on to play at TIFF, and both feature mop-haired dreamboat Timothée Chalamet, who you may recognize from Homeland and Interstellar. While he plays a private under Bale’s command in Hostiles, in Lady Bird he’s apparently a guy who says “what you’re doing is very baller” to the female lead.
That lead, the titular heroine played by none other than Saoirse Ronan, is a pink-haired teen who hates Sacramento, California and loves to make a statement, whether that’s taking a new name or jumping out of a moving car during an argument. Gerwig also wrote the movie, and she also grew up attending Catholic school in Sacramento and dreaming of a new life on the East Coast, so she definitely is writing what she knows. She isn’t necessarily treading new ground here, but the trailer hits a perfect harmony of sweet, silly, and sad that makes us eager for more. Ronan is of course no stranger to meaty, multi-layered roles and characters on the cusp of adulthood, and she’s emerging as one of the most promising acting talents of her generation. Her lighter fare hasn’t done as well with critics or audiences in the past, so we’re excited to see what happens when her well-honed craft meets Gerwig’s sure-to-be-deft directorial hand.
Lady Bird will have a special opening night presentation at this year’s TIFF. Make sure you stay tuned for more of Fandor’s TIFF coverage as the festival unfolds! For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to be in Toronto this month, Lady Bird lands in theaters this November.
Do you love previews? We sure do! Join us in the Trailer Park next Tuesday and (almost) every Tuesday for hot takes on cool Coming Attractions (popcorn not included).