(UPDATE: The video format of the trailer has been upgraded. It’s now much clearer.)
I sincerely hope Terry George’s Reservation Road isn’t Mark Ruffalo looking supremely slack-jawed and guilty for two hours, with Joaquin Phoenix not realizing he’s the guy who ran over his kid until late in the third act. If it is, consider me uninterested.
For now, you can consider me ambivalent at best judging from the film’s trailer, presented in an impossible-to-watch format at Amazon. It’s quite a feat to turn me off a movie starring two of my favorite actors working today (Ruffalo and Phoenix, not Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino; at least, not in this decade), but that’s exactly what this blunt, artless trailer accomplishes in two-and-a-half minutes. I’m also getting a strong In the Bedroom vibe from this film, which, as you’ll recall, was a cleaned-up variation on Last House on the Left, which, while we’re citing inspirations, was an ultra-gory remake of Bergman’s The Virgin Spring.
If Reservation Road has any unexpected moves in it, they’re definitely not in this sell-every-plot-point trailer. On the plus side, it’ll be turning up at the Toronto Film Festival in September; on the down side, Elizabethtown did that, too, once upon a time. George’s film (his follow-up to the solid Hotel Rwanda) is currently scheduled for release on October 19th, and could very well get in the Best Supporting Actor/Actress race even if it’s DOA as a Picture candidate. I wish I were looking forward to this.