Trailer for ‘American Made’ hopes to put Tom Cruise into the Oscar race

It has been a good long while since Tom Cruise has been a contender for an Academy Award nomination. Yesterday, a Trailer dropped for the upcoming Cruise vehicle American Made, which looks to put the action hero in something slightly weightier than usual. Now, it doesn’t look like a straight up drama, but the adventure is tinged with a potentially heavier destination. Even if that’s not the case, the last time he worked with Doug Liman, we got something kind of awesome in Edge of Tomorrow. Hopefully, history can repeat itself here. We’ll have the Trailer for you at the end of the piece, but first…let’s talk about the movie itself for a moment.

The film is based on a true story, though obviously the final product will only have a passing resemblance to what actually happened. Set during the 1980’s, pilot Barry Seal (Cruise) goes from a boring existence flying commercial airlines to being recruited by the CIA as a drug runner in South America. While keeping as much of it as he can from his wife Lucy Seal (Sarah Wright), Barry works with his government handler Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson), making tons of money in the process. Of course, the danger is great as well. Barry seems set to put his life on the line, even if he doesn’t initially realize it. Liman directs a script by Gary Spinelli. The rest of the cast includes Caleb Landry Jones, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Mickey Sumner, Benito Martinez, Jayma Mays, and more. Christophe Beck provides the score, while cinematography is done by César Charlone.

From the looks of this trailer, Cruise is doing his normal death defying thing, though the overall tone is a bit different than usual. It certainly looks fun, but there’s a hidden darkness that I expect to be revealed in the third act. That’s where Cruise will shine. This first look is trying to rope in his action fans, those excited to see The Mummy this weekend (I’ll have seen it by the time you’re reading this, though under embargo…look for my report in a few days). This might split the difference and connect older Cruise and younger Cruise in a very compelling way.

In terms of awards, American Made seems like it won’t necessarily be a huge player, but Cruise could lead the charge if he gets early career style raves. If so, look for an across the board campaign by Universal in places like Best Picture, Best Director (for Liman), Best Actor (for Cruise), Best Supporting Actor (for Gleason), Best Original Screenplay (for Spinelli), and Best Film Editing. This strikes me as Cruise in Actor or bust, but anything is possible. He’s certainly overdue for another nomination, let alone his first win, so if he gets close, momentum may push him over the finish line. For the moment, put this down as an X factor.

Cruise has been due for another brush with Oscar for a long time now, so hopefully American Made can at least be a possibility. If nothing else, it looks like a hybrid between his popcorn work of late and his iconic performances of yore. You can see the Trailer below, and obviously the late September release date shows off some potential optimism. Universal seems to think they have a winner, but to what degree remains to be seen. For the moment, sit tight, enjoy the trailer, and expect lots more on this one in the lead up to its release on September 29th. Take a gander and rejoice if you’re a Cruise fan…

Here now is the Trailer for American Made:

Stay tuned for more on American Made between now and its fall release date!

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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