In 2015, director Todd Haynes released his most critically acclaimed movie to date, Carol. Despite not showing up strong with Oscar wins, it rejuvenated his career and made many wonder what would be next up for the filmmaker. With Wonderstruck, Haynes has decided to move from an elegant period drama to something more ambitious. It's a story that is even more visually stimulating than what's come before. It's a film that has taken most of the film festivals by storm. While this is only the first official trailer, it looks like Haynes wasn't kidding. If this isn't great, it at least has an awe-inspiring approach that blends styles and creates something new and exciting. With David Bowie's "Space Oddity" to back things up, the trailer is a work of art, and hopefully another knockout for Haynes.
Like most people, I was a big fan of Carol and was a bit disappointed when it failed to get a Best Picture nomination. It was one of the first Haynes movies that I saw that left a bigger impression on me, making me notice his elegance and its ability to adapt to cinematic genres beautifully. With that considered, I am curious to know what he is going to do with his Amazon Studios movie Wonderstruck. Given that the studio recently won Best Actor for Casey Affleck in Manchester By the Sea, this isn't a far cry to believe that maybe this will be Haynes' make-up movie that gets him into the Best Picture race. If nothing else, the premise is far more exciting than anything else coming out this Fall.
Another thing to be joyful of is the collaboration that he's doing with Brian Selznick, who wrote the book it's based on. While he's not a household name, his last major credit was for Martin Scorsese's Hugo, which did pretty well in telling a story that was more universal than the limited family movie trappings would have you believe. Maybe it's just the magic of Scorsese. Still, there's a sense that maybe Wonderstruck will also have that awe and produce something just as wonderful to the big screen. This is getting tough to talk about without just LOOKING at the trailer, which I suggest you do below:
It all looks so beautiful and majestic. Here's the plot according to IMDb:
The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.
If nothing else, it's an audacious story, and one that looks to borrow old techniques in new ways. The two stories seem to be presented in both old (black and white, silent) techniques and modern (color) ways. It's a trailer dazzling with personality, and it's hard not to get excited for a film that is trying something exciting and new. Considering that it's already gotten rave reviews out of film festivals, one can hope that this reciprocates into awards season. For now, one will just have to parse out the images and wonder what lies beneath in the story. I know that I'm already game, and not just because Haynes looks to be continuing a winning streak here.