Terry George, creative mind behind the rather excellent Hotel Rwanda, isn’t a director to shy away from real-life conflict.
His latest feature, The Promise, is currently screening at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival and, as this first trailer reveals, plunges into the contested genocide campaign waged by the Turks against the Armenians during the throes of The Great War.
At the heart of George’s story – one he hashed out alongside Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) – is the always-bankable Oscar Isaac as Armenian medical student, Michael, who finds himself at the forefront of a love triangle between himself, a brilliant artist (Charlotte Le Bon) and an American journalist (Christian Bale). We got an early peek of that trio in period garb some weeks ago, but today’s debut snippet really ramps up The Promise‘s awards credentials. It wouldn’t be the first time that George has flirted with the Oscars, either, after Hotel Rwanda nabbed a nomination for Best Screenplay back in 2004.
When Michael meets Ana, their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between the two men even as Michael hangs on to a promise from his past. After the Turks join the war on the German side, the Empire turns violently against its own ethnic minorities. Despite their conflicts, everyone must find a way to survive — even as monumental events envelope their lives.
Angled as one of the hottest of hot-button features in attendance at Toronto Film Festival, it shouldn’t take much for The Promise to land a distributor given its timely subject matter and the fact that, following the failed military coup late last month, tensions between Turkey and the States persist.