Trailer Spotlight: James Gray’s Armageddon Time (2022)

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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?

7 thoughts on “Trailer Spotlight: James Gray’s Armageddon Time (2022)

  1. I saw this trailer last night as I want to see this as I love James Gray’s work and the cast itself. Yeah, I’ll see this. Plus, Jessica Chastain as our former dictator’s sister…. whoa!

  2. This looks interesting, I’ll probably watch it when it hits streaming. Gray has been a hit or miss for me. The Lost City of Z was great and he’s able to secure a big budget and a big star for Ad Astra; but no one really care about that one and it’s sort of been forgotten now. I saw it twice in theater and hopefully, it’ll become a cult hit in years to come.

    His earlier films were interesting, I don’t remember much about The Immigrant. I just remember his earlier work such as Little Odessa, The Yard and We Own The Night. He started out doing crime thrillers, but the last few years, he’s tackled different genres.

    1. Glad you’re a fan of The Lost City of Z too! It’s really too it bombed as the cast was great, esp. Charlie Hunnam as the lead (who I think is underrated too).

      I should watch his earlier ones, esp. We Own The Night. He certainly loves Joaquin Phoenix!

      1. If I remember correctly, Brad Pitt was supposed to star in The Lost City of Z and it would’ve gotten bigger budget had Pitt stayed on board. The film would probably have gotten more attention too. Hunnam was good in the film.

        I think I have We Own The Night on Bluray, I can lend it to you when we meet up for happy hour. It’s a decent film but kind of uneven though. It was heavily promoted as this Oscar type of film when it came out back in 2007. Mostly because Mark Wahlberg got nominated for an Oscar the year before for The Departed. Just like Ad Astra, it came and went pretty quick and it’s been forgotten by most people since.

  3. Pingback: Twin Cities Film Fest unveils star-studded lineup for 2022 October festival – FLIXCHATTER FILM BLOG

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