After a few minutes of footage from Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was shown last month at the Future of Cinema Conference, Variety responded with an article that can only be described as ecstatic.
“The presentation … electrified the conference in Las Vegas, leaving even experienced pros grasping for superlatives to convey what they had seen,” wrote David S. Cohen in the trade publication. A lot of the excitement around Ang Lee’s latest, based on the novel by Ben Fountain, focuses on the fact that it was shot in 3D at an extremely high resolution and frame rate giving its visuals a more authentic, “you are there” feel than one usually experiences at the movies.
In the trailer for the film that arrived today online, it’s tough to gauge the impact of the frame rate or resolution. But it’s certainly clear that Lee’s film – about an Iraq War veteran who flashes back to his experiences as a soldier while being honored during a high-fanfare football halftime show – is filled with grand visuals and what look to be delicate performances from Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, and newcomer Joe Alwyn as Billy.
The preview admittedly heaps on the sentimentality, what with the choral cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” and the tagline that promises Lee will take us “to the front lines of the human spirit.” The film is due in November, the thick of Oscar-consideration season, and clearly Sony wants to target all of our feels. After watching this trailer, the studio’s mission seems pretty well accomplished.
Ang Lee talks directing and his approach in ‘Life of Pi’ featurette: