Oscar-nominated writer-director Oren Moverman’s return to the director’s chair for his second film, Rampart, is absolutely brilliant. I was lucky enough to catch the film at the London Film Festival back in October and thought it was utterly flawless.
The film sees Moverman collaborating once more with the stars of his first film, The Messenger, Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster, having co-written the script with none other than James Ellroy, heralded as one of America’s finest crime novelists, writer of the original L.A. Confidential book upon which the 1997 film is based.
Apple have now put out an immense first trailer for Rampart, and it gives a brilliant glimpse at Harrelson’s tour de force performance throughout.
“Los Angeles, 1999. Officer Dave Brown (two-time Academy Award(R) nominee Woody Harrelson) is a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop, dedicated to doing “the people’s dirty work” and asserting his own code of justice, often blurring the lines between right and wrong to maintain his action-hero state of mind. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a personal and emotional downward spiral as the consequences of his past sins and his refusal to change his ways in light of a department-wide corruption scandal seal his fate. Brown internalizes his fear, anguish and paranoia as his world, complete with two ex-wives who are sisters, two daughters, an aging mentor dispensing bad advice, investigators galore, and a series of seemingly random women, starts making less and less sense. In the end, what is left is a human being stripped of all his pretense, machismo, chauvinism, arrogance, sexism, homophobia, racism, aggression, misanthropy; but is it enough to redeem him as a man?”
Along with Harrelson and Foster, the film also stars Ice Cube, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi, Robin Wright, Anne Heche, Brie Larson, Ned Beatty, and Cynthia Nixon.
Having seen the film already (you can read our 5-star review of it here), I know just how good it is, and I can’t recommend it to you enough. The film’s been screened at a number of festivals already, and the response has been very similar to ours, with such respect for Harrelson’s performance especially, deservedly described as the best in his career.
Rampart will be getting an Oscar-qualifying run in the States before the end of the year, and after that it will then go on wide release at the end of January there. Unfortunately, the UK’s yet to have its release date scheduled, but I remain hopeful that it won’t be much longer after the US get to see it. I think the film stands a real chance of taking a number of nominations at the Oscars early next year, and with any luck, the UK will get to see it before the awards ceremony in February. I can’t wait to see it again; it really is absolutely brilliant. Without further ado, here’s the terrific first trailer. And you can head on over to Apple if you’d like to see it in stunning HD.