New Trailers 21 | Ad Astra, The Kitchen and The Nightingale

New Trailers on HeadStuff is the place to catch up on all the latest teasers released in the world of Film and TV. Stephen Porzio tells you what’s hot.

Most Anticipated – Ad Astra, Dir James Gray

It’s been a joy watching writer-director James Gray transition from delivering very solid contemporary NY set crime dramas like We Own the Night to grander epic tales like The Immigrant and The Lost City of Z. In the process he has managed to retain that tactile sense of place that made his earlier work stand out. It will be interesting to see if this will continue on Ad Astra. A sci-fi riff on Apocalypse Now, it’s his most ambitious sounding work to date.

Brad Pitt plays an astronaut who must travel to the edge of the Solar System. This in search of his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones). The latter disappeared years ago on a mission to find extra-terrestrial life but may be behind a series of recent attacks on Earth.

Boasting a great premise with the potential to balance a personal father-son relationship with massive end-of-world stakes, Ad Astra was always going to be worth a watch. But coupled with glimpses of Interstellar cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema’s work in the trailer, this is must see.


2. The Nightingale – Dir Jennifer Kent

A close second for most anticipated is Jennifer Kent’s follow-up to 2014’s The Babadook, which made headlines this week for causing walkouts at a Sydney Film Festival screening.

Focusing on a subject likely to inspire Irish support a la Black 47, The Nightingale stars The Fall’s Aisling Franciosi. She plays Claire, an Irish convict living in Tasmania in 1825. After she is raped and her family is killed by a group of British soldiers (led by Sam Claflin), Claire takes Billy, an Aboriginal tracker (Baykali Ganambarr), with her through the hellish wilderness to seek revenge.

Having taken home the Special Jury Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival, The Nightingale looks like intense visceral viewing. Meanwhile, Kent’s reasoning for the graphic violence of the film – unlike with a lot of other extreme art-house cinema – seems totally valid. According to Indiewire, speaking at a Q&A after the recent controversial screening, the writer-director said the film “needed” to be accurate in depicting the time period’s violence against woman. She also stated that the last thing she wanted to do was soften these scenes just because it’s a movie.

3. In Fabric, Dir Peter Strickland

With his Euro cinema homages Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy, writer-director Peter Strickland established himself as a master of conjuring up glamorous yet strange cinematic environments with a sartorial elegance.

As such, it makes sense his latest In Fabric centres on a beautiful but haunted dress. The piece of clothing terrorises the woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) who buys and wears it. With its giallo-esque techicolors and synth score, this trailer makes In Fabric look as intoxicating as Strickland’s other works.

4. The Kitchen, Dir Andrea Berloff

Based on a DC Vertigo comic-book, The Kitchen sees Elizabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish play 70’s housewives living in New York. The trio struggle when their mobster husbands get pinched. In the absence of men, they step-up to be major mafia players.

The directorial debut of Straight Outta Compton scribe Andrea Berloff, The Kitchen looks timely with its female empowerment message and slick in its evocation of its time period and gangster movie iconography. It also has an unbelievable cast. In supporting roles are Domhnall Gleeson as a hitman and Bill Camp as a rival mob boss.

In recent years, however, there have been many middling gangster flicks that looked amazing. Let’s hope this is more a Widows than a White Boy Rick.

5. Terminator: Dark Fate, Dir Tim Miller / Rambo: Last Blood, Dir Adrian Grunberg

I’m lumping these teasers together as they are both the latest additions in franchises which should cease to exist.

There has already been a trilogy of failed Terminator sequels. And although the return of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor is intriguing, Mackenzie Davis is a fantastic actress and the trailer has some cool moments, it is hard to get too enthusiastic. We’ve been here before.

Rambo: Last Blood is a little more interesting. The franchise has always been entertaining even if its sequels aren’t exactly intelligent.

Last Blood sees Sylvester Stallone’s Vietnam vet/one-man army team with a reporter to save a kidnapped girl from a vicious Mexican drug cartel. Based on the movie’s title and the elegiac vibe of the teaser, this looks like a swan song for the iconic character. Plus one imagines Stallone can’t push this any further.

6. The Goldfinch, Dir John Crowley

Based on the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name, this drama stars Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver). He plays a young man whose troubled childhood leads him to the world of art forgery.

With its September release date and starry cast (including Nicole Kidman and Sarah Paulson), one imagines this will be an Oscar hopeful. However, aside from pretty cinematography, nothing about this trailer really makes The Goldfinch appear to be must-see.

That said, Irish director John Crowley racked up some Academy Award nominations with his adaptation of the similarly weighty and well-respected novel Brooklyn. Maybe he can do the same here.

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