A new trailer and poster have arrived for Amazon Studios’ book adaptation, Wonderstruck. The phrase “visionary director” may get tossed around all too frequently these days, but Todd Haynes is arguably just that. From his early films like Velvet Goldmine (a 1998 film that explores the ’80s and ’70s) and Far from Heaven (a 2002 film set in the 50s) to his most recent work, Carol (also set in the 50s), Haynes is a master at crafting gorgeous period pieces. What’s brilliant about Haynes is his ability to bring the place and era the film is set in, to life. In Haynes’ work, the setting becomes a character in and of itself. And if the new trailer for Wonderstruck is anything to go by, it looks like Haynes took his latest project to new heights.
Wonderstruck is based on the novel written by Brian Selznick and it follows the journey of two individuals from two separate time periods. In 1927, Rose (Millicent Simmonds) runs away from her home in New Jersey in search of her idol, actress Lillian Mayhew (played by Julianne Moore, who’s a regular in Haynes’ films). In the 1977 time period, Ben (Oakes Fegley) leaves New York after the untimely death of his mother, to search for his missing father. This new trailer highlights exactly that, with seamless intercuts between the different time periods.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Simmonds – who has been deaf since she was merely 12 months old due to a medication overdose – explains why she’s attracted to the character, Rose:
I felt I could really relate to Rose and feeling isolated and alone. I feel that around hearing people every day. I’m grateful he chose me to play Rose. And I think it means a lot to the deaf community for them to see someone deaf play a deaf character.
Hiring a deaf actress to play a deaf character is definitely a bold move on Haynes’ end, something that most filmmakers would’ve opted against. However, one can only imagine that no actor, regardless of how great he or she is, would be able to communicate what it truly means to be a deaf person. There are some subtleties and nuances you simply cannot replicate. Haynes, for his part, has got nothing but great things to say about his film’s young starlet:
I’ll never have an explanation for how Millie communicated that feeling of being left out, which everybody has experienced, especially in childhood, with such economy and subtlety and confidence. You can’t do that unless you know how to communicate with the world around you.
This movie is yet to go on wide-release, but early reviews from the 2017 Cannes Film Festival has been largely positive. Looking at Haynes’ past works, it looks like Wonderstruck will be one of the top contenders to get an Oscar nomination at the 90th Academy Awards. While Haynes has yet to clinch that trophy, he did get a writing nomination for Far from Heaven more than a decade ago. His previous film, Carol received six Oscar nominations, while Far from Heaven and Velvel Goldmine received four and one Oscar nominations in their respective years.
Source: Amazon Studios
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