I’m going to jump into this piece beginning with an omission… I am embarrassingly under-viewed of David O. Russell’s work. He’s always been there. I’ve known the name and I’m certainly aware of his reputation. I mean, he is considered… by portions of “Film Twitter” at least… to be one of the modern Hollywood auteurs (even if his work comes with some… baggage… now).
Well, the trailer for his newest work (Amsterdam) hit the interwebs today and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just the slightest bit intrigued. Those who know me, know I love me a good period picture, especially one in the ultra-glamorous, 1930s epic variety. It’s right up my alley. There are two films really piquing my interest as we begin to hear about the upcoming year’s awards fair, this film and Damien Chazelle’s Babylon (trailer forthcoming).
Amsterdam features a traditionally meaty, A-list cast with names like: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Robert De Niro, Zoe Saldana, Rami Malek, Taylor Swift and Michael Shannon included. With more impressive names appearing deeper in the IMDb, I should really add an “among others”. Russell directs the film from his own script. The story reportedly revolves around 3 friends who witness a murder and find themselves fighting to clear their own names.
Now, my first time through this trailer, I didn’t walk away with a great feel for the story. I was blinded by the light of that impressive cast. Christian Bale is of course, Christian Bale. The man is probably one of the closer things we have today to a modern day Marlon Brando. Meanwhile, l believe that Margot Robbie is moving quickly in the direction of awards recognition herself. She’s been doing darn good work for a while now and she seems to be getting better and better with each effort. She’s a performer who brings the right amount of “street cred” and franchise power with a skill to dive into deeper work.
At the same time, Amsterdam is yet another luscious period piece crafted through the traditional Hollywood lens. These films have a… look. Chances are, you can think of the look I’m referring to right now. The film comes from cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, best known for his work on epics like: Gravity, Children of Men and The Revenant. If nothing else, this movie is set to look amazing.
All in all, if anything negative could be pulled (and I’m not sure this is a negative), this trailer oozes late year, “awards bait” flare. This first trailer is very geared towards showing off the A-list look of this film. The polish and sophistication leaps off the screen. Will Amsterdam have the legs in the always tricky months of November and December? That remains to be seen… this is just the first trailer after all. However, I am certainly interested in this one and am curious to see how the marketing effort evolves as we continue through the summer.
Amsterdam is expected to hit theaters November 4th 2022.