Warner Bros.’ political drama Our Brand Is Crisis displayed early signs of its awards aspirations late last year as the A-list names continued to roll in. From its production team – George Clooney and Grant Heslovs’s Smokehouse Pictures – to the balanced ensemble of big-hitters and character actors, the Oscar-friendly evidence began to accumulate. And while you shouldn’t judge a film on its boilerplate, you can make a reasonable assessment based on its trailer: which we now have for you above.
Based on Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary, Our Brand Is Crisis stars Sandra Bullock as political strategist Jane Bodine, who’s lured away from the US to aid a struggling candidate in the Bolivian presidential campaign. Having to contend with turning her client into a sympathetic public figure is the least of her worries, as her former nemesis Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) is her opposition.
Both leads demonstrate their weighty screen presence in this preliminary tease. But by far the most interesting player in the mix is director David Gordon Green, whose back catalogue is replete with broad comedies and indie gems; nothing else on his resume comes close to the calibre of Our Brand Is Crisis. Granted, it’s a Clooney beast, so there’s elements of comedy and drama to ensure its appeal to a wide audience. With little sign of Green’s trademark humor, it’ll be fun to watch how this one plays out.
Our Brand Is Crisis opens on October 30.
A Bolivian presidential candidate failing badly in the polls enlists the firepower of an elite American management team, led by the deeply damaged but still brilliant strategist “Calamity” Jane Bodine (Bullock). In self-imposed retirement following a scandal that earned her nickname and rocked her to her core, Jane is coaxed back into the game for the chance to beat her professional nemesis, the loathsome Pat Candy (Thornton), now coaching the opposition.
But as Candy zeroes in on every vulnerability – both on and off the campaign trail – Jane is plunged into a personal crisis as intense as the one her team exploits nationally to boost their numbers. Dramatic, rapid-fire and laced with satire, “Our Brand is Crisis” reveals the cynical machinations and private battles of world-class political consultants for whom nothing is sacred and winning is all that matters.