Late last week, we got a hell of a Trailer for what could be a major Oscar player this year. The film in question? Well, it’s none other than Ang Lee’s upcoming take on Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. I’ve read this book and can vouch for it as a quality drama, though not one that I’d initially have pegged as a Lee project. Still, in some ways that only makes this transition from book to film even more interesting. Lee has an incredible visual eye and can elevate the prose to something even more cinematic. The potential here for the movie is rather endless, with the Trailer in question doing nothing to not make me assume this is a huge contender. You can see it below, but first…some discussion is in order.
The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ben Fountain. Set mostly during Thanksgiving Day, it follows the title character Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) and his platoon as they’re honored during the halftime show of a Dallas Cowboys football game for their heroism. As Billy and his fellow soldiers are feted, he flashes back on what really happened back in Iraq, which has shaken him to his core. There’s also time spent with his protective sister Kathryn (Kristen Stewart), who wants him to stay home and not go back to war. For the most part, Billy and his crew just deal with the dichotomy of being labeled a hero back home and the actions that got them there while abroad. It’s really a character study, though I suspect the war flashbacks will be pretty visceral. Lee obviously directs, with the adaptation penned by Jean-Christophe Castelli. Besides Alwyn and Stewart, the cast includes Steve Martin, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Tucker, Tim Blake Nelson, Makenzie Leigh, Beau Knapp, and many more. Cinematography is by John Toll.
From the looks of this first Trailer, Lee and company have really nailed the spectacle as well as the emotion. Lee is once again utilizing state of the art technology and visuals to make this flick appear like nothing else in history. He succeeded with that in a big way last time out with Life of Pi, so you have to imagine he’s more than up to the task here. He’s tackled a good book, so if the screenplay is up to snuff and Alwyn makes a strong […]