Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson in first “We Bought a Zoo” trailer – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Once the frenzy surrounding the Toronto International Film Festival draws to a close, I’m going to do a comprehensive piece on the “unknowns,” the Oscar hopefuls that have yet to glide across our radars. I’ll turn my attention to Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” Phyllida Lloyd’s “The Iron Lady” and Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” for sure.

And then there’s Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo,” which I’m starting to expect has the potential to make a bigger splash than maybe we think at this early stage of the race.

Crowe’s “Elizabethtown” didn’t live up to his standards, and it helps us forget that he’s responsible for such powerful and engaging films as “Say Anything,” “Almost Famous” and “Jerry Maguire.” That last one — which earned Cuba Gooding Jr. a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as well as nominations for Best Actor (Tom Cruise), Film Editing (Joe Hutshing), Writing (Crowe) and Picture — comes to mind watching the first trailer for “Zoo.” The film stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in the story of a man who moves his family to the rural confines of Southern California to renovate a failing zoo.

The trailer’s below. It has all of the elements we’ve come to want in a Crowe film, from an endearing lead character with adorable kids to the perfectly selected Tom Petty track “Don’t Come Around Here No More” as his music bed. Can “We Bought a Zoo” find its way into the Oscar race? Is it even an awards film, or just a crowd-pleaser from a gifted storyteller who has shown over the years that he’s capable of spinning a winning tale?

“Zoo” opens everywhere on Dec. 23.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgnhnwOsNVM

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