Magnificent bastards, meet insensitive bastards. James Franco’s latest self-consciously artsy output comes from the students of a class he taught at the University of California in Los Angeles, and boasts the mouthful of a name The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards.
The real highlights of this week’s movie trailers, however, come from Netflix and Daniel Day-Lewis. The former is Mudbound, a powerful epic set in the American South before and after World War II. The flick won’t hit screens until the middle of next month, but already it’s generating early Oscar buzz.
As for Day-Lewis, the inimitable actor is also inciting Oscar talk, but his upcoming performance in Phantom Thread isn’t just impressive – it will also be his last. The Academy Award winner announced in June that he would retire from acting following completion of the film, so make the most of DDL while you can.
Set in the post-WWII South, Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against a barbaric social hierarchy and an unrelenting landscape as they simultaneously fight the battle at home and the battle abroad. Newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis, the McAllan family is underprepared and overly hopeful for Henry’s (Jason Clarke) grandiose farming dreams. Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture, meanwhile, for Hap (Rob Morgan) and Florence Jackson (Mary J. Blige), whose families have worked the land for generations, every day is a losing venture as they struggle bravely to build some small dream of their own. The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) forge a fast, uneasy friendship that challenges them all.
Den Of Thieves
A crime saga in the vein of Heat, Den Of Thieves follows the intersecting lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Department and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles.
The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards
Based on short stories from Robert Boswell’s collection, seven vignettes explore the difference between fantasy and reality, memory and history, and the joy and agony of the human condition. The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards is executive produced by James Franco, and was directed by a team of MFA students at UCLA during a class he taught at the university in 2012. Franco stars alongside Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman, and more.
Set in an alternate present-day, this action-thriller directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch) follows two cops from very different backgrounds – Ward, a human played by Will Smith, and Jakoby, an orc played by Joel Edgerton – who embark on a routine patrol night that will ultimately alter the future as their world knows it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, could destroy everything if it fell into the wrong hands.
Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built
On an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester (Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren), heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman’s madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the brilliant Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) who she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters. Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built is inspired by true events.
Set in the glamour of 1950s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. Director Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey and the women who keep his world running.
Godless is a seven-part Netflix limited series from Steven Soderbergh and Scott Frank, written and directed by Scott Frank, starring Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, and Jeff Daniels. Frank Griffin, an outlaw terrorizing the 1880s American West, hunts down Roy Goode, his partner turned enemy. Roy hides out at a ranch as Frank’s chase leads him to La Belle, New Mexico – a town mysteriously made up entirely of women.
Alien Invasion: S.U.M.1
The Nonesuch – an eerie, aggressive race of alien creatures – have forced humanity into hiding in a vast system of underground bunkers. Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) stars as a young soldier assigned to guard a lookout post on the surface and save the few remaining stragglers.
In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman, Michael, on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realises a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy – one that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers.
Set over four days in March 1918 in the trenches on the front line, a small group of soldiers wait to be bombarded by enemy artillery, anticipating certain death. Journey’s End charts the tension and claustrophobia of the officers’ dug-out as new recruit, 18-year-old Lieutenant Raleigh, joins the Company commanded by 20-year-old Captain Stanhope, his former childhood friend and hero, who has changed almost beyond recognition.