It seems a lot of my favorite filmmakers have been going personal in their film projects. Kenneth Branagh just did that with Belfast which recounts his own personal memory of growing up in Northern Ireland, and Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans coming later in November is based on his childhood.
This time James Gray is writing and directing this coming-of-age story about the strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American Dream. Check out the trailer:
I was left scratching my head about that title as it immediately conjures up that Michael Bay disaster flick, ahah. Well, according to this review from Variety, the title refers to a reggae cover by the Clash released in 1979 titled Armagideon Time, and from the fact that in a TV interview clip, Ronald Reagan said the US was facing a ‘moral Armageddon’ during his presidential campaign.
I’m a big fan of Gray’s underrated film The Lost City of Z, and to a lesser degree, The Immigrant, which I want to rewatch as I wasn’t as keen about apart from Marion Cottilard‘s performance. As an American immigrant myself, the subject matter is naturally intriguing to me. I was still back in Indonesia in the 1980s but I am familiar with certain events being depicted here–Reagan election, the shooting of John Lennon, threat of nuclear conflict, etc.
Gray grew up in Queens in a Jewish family and he’s a pre-teen during the time this movie is set, portrayed as Michael by Banks Repeta. What strikes me as I was reading the IMDb cast list is that Chastain plays Maryanne Trump (Donald’s sister), while John Diehl plays Donald’s father Fred Trump.
Per this Guardian article, Gray said this about the Trump connection in the film … “… History is very complex, but there are inflection points every few years and this moment in the 1980s was one of them. Those children at the private school are going to run everything and they know it… There is something ossified about a system that keeps the same people at the top. Why don’t we look at this system that requires a level of oppression to operate? I was trying to show the layers of that system and of that idea of privilege.”
I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Trump family.
The cast is fabulous: Anthony Hopkins. Anne Hathaway. Jessica Chastain. Jeremy Strong. Wow! Mr. Hopkins is still as busy as ever, I just saw the trailer for The Son, a follow-up to the Oscar-winning The Father. Apparently when the project was first announced, Oscar Isaac, Robert De Niro, and Cate Blanchett were cast in the lead roles, but they ended up being replaced by Strong, Hopkins, and Chastain… I’d say those are evenly matched replacements!!
Can’t wait to see this on November 11!
What are your thoughts of ARMAGEDDON TIME trailer?