It was announced Rosewater will have its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival followed shortly by a Toronto Film Festival appearance and now the first trailer and poster for the film has been release along with the first wave of reviews.
First off, Scott Foundas at Variety says it’s “[a]n alternately somber and darkly funny drama” that will likely be compared to Argo. Foundas adds, “Largely a two-hander between Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal) and the interrogator who puts him through a gauntlet of soul-crushing mindgames, Stewart’s confident, superbly acted debut feature works as both a stirring account of human endurance and a topical reminder of the risks faced by journalists in pursuit of the truth, minus the caper antics and flag waving of Ben Affleck’s populist Oscar winner.”
Over at The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy says it’s “[an] emotionally accessible but very modest tale of one man’s temporary misfortune at the hands of the Iranian government… [done in] a capable, straightforward manner [… and it] will get loads of attention based on the celebrity of it writer-director. But if this very same film had been made by an unknown director, it would pass in the night with only scant notice.”
Steve Pond at The Wrap says “[it’s] smart and affecting, but not quite as sharp as you might expect,” before adding, “[It’s] a solid, quietly involving work about political turmoil in the Middle East, and the toll it takes on a free press. Like much of Stewart’s work, it’s smart and it points fingers in directions in which they need to be pointed.”
In short it sounds like it’s a good movie that may be getting a little boost due to the man at the helm, which isn’t a problem, but perhaps one that will get a good pat on the back and we’ll all move on with respect, but no major kudos. Nothing wrong with that, there can be worse things than a “capable” first time effort.
Following its appearance at Telluride and Toronto, Rosewater will hit theaters on November 7. I plan on seeing it in Toronto shortly, now here are the trailer and poster.