Friday, December 9, 2016

Mysterious trailer debuts for James Ponsoldt's highly anticipated 'The Circle'

Most people probably don't know who James Ponsoldt is. After all, his movies in total have barely made over $10 million at the box office, and he's only a household name in the indie world. But to be honest, I have a feeling that could change very soon. Ponsoldt directed The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour, two movies that defied genre conventions and became truly remarkable achievements in their own right. The Spectacular Now took a frank, occasionally tragic look at the high school experience, giving us a harrowing portrait of an alcoholic teenager (Miles Teller) and the beautiful relationship that blossoms in his senior year. It was a stunning reversal of the high school genre, and I truly believe that it's a modern classic. The same can be said for The End of the Tour, which is a stunning, introspective road trip movie that features some of the most thought-provoking and graceful sequences of dialogue that I've ever seen on screen. Ponsoldt has an incredible eye for humanity and character, and his films are soft-spoken, playing out in a lowkey manner that hits you right in the heart. Ponsoldt might just see his big breakthrough with The Circle, a technological drama that stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega. Based on the book by Dave Eggers, The Circle has the potential to be one of the most absorbing films of 2017. Check out the first trailer below!

This is an incredibly intriguing trailer, and the more I watch it, the more I like it. Most of my excitement for this movie surrounds the fact that it's coming from Ponsoldt, but upon further inspection, there really are a lot of fascinating elements in this film. For starters, the cast is great. Emma Watson and John Boyega are pitch-perfect protagonists, and I adore the idea of Tom Hanks as a tyrannical version of Steve Jobs. Secondly, the technological themes are compelling and topical, especially in the modern age of surveillance. Nobody knows yet if The Circle will have anything thoughtful or reflective to say about our societal embrace of connectivity, but the idea is exciting nonetheless. Many immediately drew comparisons to Netflix's Black Mirror, the hit anthology series that has tackled various issues involving modern society. On the surface, it's easy to see why the two pieces are thematically similar and, depending on who you ask, redundant. But for me, the wild card here is Ponsoldt. He's a talented filmmaker who always has a lot to say, and I know that he wouldn't have tackled this ambitious project if he didn't have a particular viewpoint on this issue. Even from some of the conversations in The End of the Tour, it's clear that Ponsoldt is deeply troubled by our current direction. I love the idea of creating a dystopia from a utopia, and overall, this trailer does a great job of selling the movie's general idea. Simply put, The Circle is one of the movies that I can't wait to dive into next year.

The Circle will debut on April 28, 2017.

Image Credit: IMDB 

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