The literary drama The Words – written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal – stars Bradley Cooper as a down-on-his-luck writer who stumbles upon a lost story written decades ago, and passes it off as his own. Ultimately, Cooper’s character has to face the harsh realities when the truth of his lie begins to surface.
The official theatrical trailer for The Words has been out for a few months, but CBS Films has released a shorter version, which focuses almost exclusively on the film’s main storyline (Cooper’s plagiarism), while keeping the involvement of other characters (specifically Dennis Quaid and Olivia Wilde) a bit of a mystery.
The Words premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival before being purchased by CBS Films, and has garnered mixed reviews up to this point (though not enough critiques have come in yet to draw a true consensus). While audiences might not be fully intrigued by the plagiarism-based story off the bat, they might be enticed by the talented ensemble cast that’s been assembled.
Joining Cooper (The Hangover) is a pretty star-studded lineup, including Zoe Saldana (Star Trek), Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow), Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens), Jeremy Irons (Eragon) and even J.K. Simmons, who’s had memorable smaller roles in films like Up in the Air, Spider-Man and I Love You, Man. Whether the film will fair well at the box office remains to be seen, but assembling a group of accomplished, well-known actors certainly can’t hurt its cause.
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The bigger question will be whether The Words ends up being more than just a simple tale of right and wrong. While the previews allude to Cooper’s character having his secret discovered (primarily by Irons’ character), it’ll be interesting to see if The Words goes beyond that to explore how a person’s reputation can be forever tainted when he or she is found guilty of plagiarism, and what that does to their frame of mind – particularly if they’re passionate about the literary profession.
Despite Cooper’s character stealing someone else’s work, the trailer paints him as a main player worthy of the audience’s empathy. Between his genuine fear of not living up to his own expectations as a writer, his determination to prove to his father he can succeed, and him reacting more with fear, as opposed to anger, when he thinks his secret is being uncovered, Cooper’s character is being painted as a likable protagonist who gets backed into a corner and needs to take extreme measures to make his way out.
Whether The Words can pair its very respectable cast with an equally involved story will be better revealed when the film lands in theaters on September 7.
Source: CBS Films