O.K., let’s start off with the good/great in this trailer for Our Brand is Crisis. First off, it’s great to see Sandra Bullock dropping some serious dramedy chops onscreen again. It’s what she’s best at and yes, floating in space talking to no one is not what she’s best at. Although she was actually pretty good at that. Secondly, great to see Billy Bob Thornton being a badass once again. It’s what he’s good at. Always. I also love the supporting cast glimpsed in the trailer including Scoot McNairy, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd who are all solid, solid actors. The cherry on this actorly sundae is, for me, the fact the film is directed by David Gordon Green who keeps upping the ante on what he wants to do as a director. Count me in 99% of the time (luckily that Suspiria remake he was set to do never happened).
Now, the bad…
[In Seinfeld voice] What’s the deal with prototypical American Vietnam era songs being used in a movie about marketing tactics being used in a movie about a Bolivian election in 2005? I’m not being some jingoist or whatever you might be thinking but Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” and “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After simply do not fit this material. Like, they reallllly don’t fit. At all. Great, catchy rock songs? Yes. Songs that help a viewer understand what Our Brand is Crisis (which is based on a 2005 documentary with the same name) is really “about?” Nope. Same with the new Peanuts movie using “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who in its trailer. It makes no sense.
That being said I’m looking forward to this when it hits theaters on October 30. More info below…..
“Our Brand is Crisis,” from director from David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express,” “George Washington”), stars Oscar winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and Billy Bob Thornton (“Sling Blade”).
A Bolivian presidential candidate failing badly in the polls enlists the firepower of an elite American management team, led by the deeply damaged but still brilliant strategist “Calamity” Jane Bodine (Bullock). In self-imposed retirement following a scandal that earned her nickname and rocked her to her core, Jane is coaxed back into the game for the chance to beat her professional nemesis, the loathsome Pat Candy (Thornton), now coaching the opposition.
But as Candy zeroes in on every vulnerability – both on and off the campaign trail – Jane is plunged into a personal crisis as intense as the one her team exploits nationally to boost their numbers. Dramatic, rapid-fire and laced with satire, “Our Brand is Crisis” reveals the cynical machinations and private battles of world-class political consultants for whom nothing is sacred and winning is all that matters.
The drama also stars Anthony Mackie (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), Joaquim de Almeida (“Fast Five”), Ann Dowd (“Side Effects,” HBO’s “The Leftovers”), Scoot McNairy (“Gone Girl,” “Argo”) and Zoe Kazan (“Ruby Sparks”).
Green directs from a screenplay by Oscar nominee Peter Straughan (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), suggested by the documentary by Rachel Boynton, which outlined the American political campaign marketing tactics employed in the real-life 2002 Bolivian presidential election.
The film is produced by Oscar-winning Smokehouse Pictures’ principals Grant Heslov and George Clooney (“Argo”), with Bullock, Stuart Besser, and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King serving as executive producers.
Green’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes frequent collaborators director of photography Tim Orr, editor Colin Patton, production designer Richard A. Wright and composer David Wingo (“Manglehorn,”), as well as costume designer Jenny Eagan (“Now You See Me”).
“Our Brand is Crisis” is scheduled for release on Friday, October 30, 2015.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Participant Media, a Smokehouse Pictures production, “Our Brand is Crisis.” The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.