It must be great to be Martin Scorsese. With an infinite amount of acclaim and consideration as America’s best living director, he has capabilities that almost nobody else does. In the case of his latest film Silence, he managed to announce its release date rather recently and make it one of the year’s most anticipated films. To make matters more humorous, he threatened not to release the trailer if Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election (spoiler alert: she did). Two weeks later, the silence around Silence has broken, and it’s time to revel in the first look at a master’s latest film.
There is a lot of curious variables when discussing Silence. For starters, it looks to be a big departure from his previous film. The Wolf of Wall Street was an ode to excess that served as a cautionary tale of the same behavior many mistakenly thought it glorified. Considering that film followed his only kid-friendly film Hugo, it seems like Scorsese’s latest challenge is to make cinema that’s tonally different each time out. It isn’t a terrible idea, especially since he’s proven himself to be more good than bad with the results.
Another reason to be excited about Silence is that it is one of his passion projects that he has been trying to finish for many years. With returning co-writer Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York), there’s already a top notch team on display. Add in actors Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and up-and-coming Adam Driver and you get one of the most perplexing casts that can upset the acting categories. With the first footage, it’s difficult to say by how much. Even then, it’s important to note that Scorsese can get a great performance out of anyone, so anything is possible.
Check out the trailer below:
Looks great, doesn’t it? More than anything, it looks beautiful and ominous. While Scorsese has always had the Catholic guilt lodged somewhere in the back of his films, Silence is one of the few to directly address it head on. Here’s the plot according to IMDb:
In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity.
Much like other Oscar favorites from December, notably Fences, there’s not much to go off of when determining how the awards game will fall. If anything, The Wolf of Wall Street’s almost spontaneous release and eventual gestations in public conversation should bode well for the film long term. Maybe this will get Neeson back into the Oscar conversation after several years as an old man action hero. Maybe this will be Garfield’s big break and will finally give him a reputable career to do bigger and better things (something that should’ve been obvious since The Social Network). We’ll just have to wait and see. Even then, Silence looks gorgeous, and I cannot wait to see it.