IFC releases a trailer for Mary Magdalene. Directed by Garth Davis, the biblical drama stars Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ and Rooney Mara as the title character. Earlier this month, Mary Magdalene finally received an April release date, this coming after a turbulent distribution journey after the film initially premiered in February 2018.
In the canonical gospels, Mary Magdalene is referenced more than Jesus’ apostles, and the film chronicles her unique relationship with the founder of Christianity, as she allegedly witnessed his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Production began in October 2016, and the film was originally scheduled for a November 2017 release, and then pushed to March 2018. After The New York Times and The New Yorker published their Harvey Weinstein exposés in October 2017, Mary Magdalene was shelved once again, and the producers ultimately searched for a new distributor and made a deal with IFC Films.
On YouTube, IFC Films released Mary Magdalene’s new trailer. In the beginning, cloudy landscape shots contrast Mary’s declaration to Jesus that she wants him to understand her. From there, the trailer establishes the natural chemistry between the two historical figures, which complicates Mary’s impending marriage with “a friend.” As Mary’s acquaintances try to sway her from following Jesus, the clip underlines themes of purpose and free will. Unfortunately for Mary, she learns that Jesus’ message of peace isn’t understood by all, and she then prepares for the worst. The final minute of Mary Magdalene’s trailer focuses on the inevitable violence, along with Mary’s absolute devotion to Jesus. The clip ends with the line “The world will only change as we change.” Check out the full Mary Magdalene trailer below.
As a whole, the color palette of Mary Magdalene’s trailer is full of warm interior browns and icy blue exterior images. The film reunites the aforementioned Davis with cinematographer Greig Fraser. For their 2017 collaboration Lion, Fraser received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography. In the past, he’s shot films like Killing Them Softly, Snow White and the Huntsman, Zero Dark Thirty, Foxcatcher, and Rogue One. Fraser will also serve as cinematographer for Denis Villeneuve’s 2020 science fiction epic Dune.
Mary Magdalene marks the final film for composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The Icelandic artist earned Academy Award nominations for The Theory of Everything and Sicario. In 2016, Jóhannsson received a Golden Globe nomination for Arrival, this coming after he’d previously won for The Theory of Everything in 2014. After finishing the score for Mandy, Jóhannsson died from an accidental overdose on Feb. 9, 2018. He was 48 years old.
Based on the new trailer, Mary Magdalene seems to be more of a cinematic experience than a fluffy historical drama. Given the talent of the aforementioned Greig Fraser and Jóhann Jóhannsson, both of whom are known for brilliantly setting a specific mood, Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix can accomplish more with less. Mary Magdalene’s success will ultimately depend on the lead’s handling of major moments, and their ability to fully transform into their famous characters.
Source: IFC Films