It was just four years ago that Gus Van Sant made a strong return to the Oscars after over a decade with the gripping biopic Milk. However, the director soon followed that up with the barely-seen Restless which not only gained negative reviews but barely made even a dent at the box office with an incredibly limp take. So for his next film Promised Land, Van Sant has decided to reunite with an actor he previously worked on for easily his most popular film Good Will Hunting: Matt Damon.
The first on-screen partnership between the two in 10 years, the cast includes a number of familiar faces in the hope of delivering a story about the average hard-working individuals. Today Focus Features has released the first trailer of the film in preparation for a possible awards season run, but does the drama have what it takes to earn a bout at the Academy Awards?
Corporate salesman Steve Butler (Damon) arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand). With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (John Krasinski) who counters Steve both personally and professionally.
Co-starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Lucas Black, Titus Welliver and more, Promised Land hits theaters in limited release on December 28th.