Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for “Our Brand is Crisis”

sandra bullock our brand is crisis

Yesterday, a Trailer dropped for Our Brand is Crisis, the political drama/satire hybrid that I’ve been predicting for Oscar attention all year. With it, we got our first real look at a film that could certainly liven up the impending awards season. David Gordon Green’s movie is getting a premiere shortly at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, and assuming reviews are strong, this will quickly become more than just a Sandra Bullock vehicle, but a legitimate Academy Award contender as well. We’ll know soon enough, but this very solid Trailer is a hint that this is something to be excited about, especially if you’re looking for another contender to enter the race.

Here’s a quick refresher on the movie. Basically, it’s based on the documentary of the same name (Our Brand Is Crisis, of course), which focused on the use of American political campaign strategies in South American elections. Specifically, it was a Bolivian politician named Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada hiring James Carville’s political consulting firm to help him win the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Carville works to use American political campaign strategies, leading to a different outcome than might otherwise have been. For the film, Bullock will play ‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine, basically a stand in for Carville, I believe, though Billy Bob Thornton as a rival consultant with a bald head makes me wonder if he’s actually the Carville stand in. Regardless, aside from Bullock and Thornton, also in the cast are Ann Dowd, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie, Scoot McNairy, and more. Green directs, as mentioned before, with the script penned by Peter Straughan. The potential for something special is certainly there, it seems.

I’d always considered this a player more so than most, and the Trailer that you’ll be seeing below seems to indicate that I might be on to something. Not only does it look to showcase Bullock in a great leading role, it appears to be Green’s largest scale filmmaking to date. It’s easy to look at Our Brand is Crisis and think that it’s a cousin to Ben Affleck’s Argo, which also was produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. I’m sure all involved here would be thrilled if this one came even close to what that one did, but there’s certainly a chance.

If there’s one thing the Trailer for this movie really showed us, it’s that we’ve got a showcase for Bullock’s talents on our hands. The film appears to give her both comedic and dramatic depths to plumb, all in the service of an actually important story. This is the sort of thing I might not have imagined she could have done at one point in her career, but after work like The Blind Side, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Gravity, I’ve bought in to her as an underrated actress. I’m not sure that she’s going to suddenly be a two time Best Actress winner, but another nomination could be in the cards if the precursors are kind to her performance here.

Awards wise, it’s worth mentioning its possibilities again. Essentially, Our Brand is Crisis could compete in a number of categories if things break right for it. Obviously, there’s big ones like Best Picture, Best Director (for Green), and Best Actress (for Bullock), but also Best Supporting Actor (for either Mackie, McNairy, or Thornton), Best Supporting Actress (for either Dowd or Kazan), and Best Original/Adapted Screenplay (for Straughan, depending on how and where it gets categorized). Throw in Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score, and there’s a wide variety of places that this flick could show up in. If the movie is good, it’s not out of the question to look at Picture, Director (for Green), and Actress (for Bullock) as a potentially attainable goal, with whichever Screenplay category also possibly up for grabs.

I know as well as anyone that dark horses and/or X factors don’t always pan out during awards season, but I have a pretty good feeling right now about Our Brand is Crisis. That doesn’t mean too much, but between the things working in its favor that I’ve previously discussed and how strong the Trailer is that you’ll see at the end of this piece, there’s enough here to include it in a number of spots in my Oscar predictions. You’ll get a glimpse of my newest Academy Award predictions at the end of the week, but for now, give this Trailer a look and sit tight for the first reviews out of TIFF for Our Brand is Crisis, in advance of its theatrical release at the end of October. Until then folks…

Take a look now at the Trailer for Our Brand is Crisis:

Stay tuned for much more on Our Brand is Crisis between now and its release on October 30th!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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