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Pride, Glory at Stake in Pride and Glory Kerfuffle

"Boiler-platey"? Edward Norton in Pride and Glory (Photo: New Line Cinema)

By S.T. VanAirsdale

A while back at Hollywood Elsewhere, Jeffrey Wells experienced a bit of a letdown following a few minutes with the trailer for Pride and Glory. Tumbleweeds and Miracle helmer Gavin O'Connor directed the thriller, which co-stars Edward Norton and Colin Farrell as brothers in law -- a pair of New York cops from a family full of them (Including Jon Voight and Noah Emmerich) -- at odds over an investigation placing them amid a deepening corruption scandal. He culled a defense from Farrell in the same item, but it evidently wasn't enough to mitigate what O'Connor felt was a bit of a misguided snub:

"It seems to me ... unfair to judge my film before you've seen it. You're summarizing the entirety of the film based on a two-minute trailer. I invite you to experience the film in its full breadth and depth, and if after that you still feel that it's boiler-platey and histrionic, I'll welcome that critique, and respect your opinion. But until then, in fairness to me as the creator of the film, it would be very much appreciated if you would reserve judgment.

"I've been trying to realize this movie for over seven years, and though an amazing experience making the film at New Line, it has now become heartbreaking, watching it get caught up in corporate maneuvering, where bookkeeping seems to take precedent over filmmaking. My film is living in some form of studio purgatory, so it hurts to read negative comments about it before its ever been released."

The "bookkeeping" to which O'Connor refers concerns New Line, in Farrell's words, having "lost the bollocks on The Golden Compass ... and they literally don't have enough money to market things" until 2009 -- the film's new release date. There's a minor controversy as well over Emmerich's casting (New Line production boss Toby Emmerich evidently resisted his brother's appearance in not only this film, but also Todd Field's Little Children), but I don't think it's impugning anyone's work to say that the trailer is a bit pekid or, as Wells put it, "boiler-platey, perhaps a little too emphatic and histrionic." I wouldn't rush to judge the film as such, however, at least no more than I'd say Pineapple Express is the second coming of Raising Arizona on the basis of probably the single funniest trailer I've ever seen. The likelihood of disappointment there is alarmingly high, just as the likelihood of, say, nuance or dynamics in a feature-length drama starring Norton, Voight and Farrell -- no matter how pitched its trailer -- is reassuringly high.

That's not being unfair, is it? Anyway, think about it -- we've got a year to discuss.

Posted at February 18, 2008 10:45 AM

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