James Gray chooses to be completely earthbound with his next film, Armageddon Time, which is set in New York City in the 1980s, which has received praise from the Cannes Film Festival and has received good reviews during recent screenings at the Telluride Film Festival.
Armageddon Time follows Banks Repeta as Paul Graff, who forms a friendship with a fellow student (Jaylin Webb) that sparks racism and turmoil in an increasingly politically-changing era. Along with Anthony Hopkins as Paul's grandfather, the trailer gives us a glimpse at Gray's deeply personal, politically-conscious ensemble drama, which takes us to a critical moment in his storyteller's life.
Armageddon Time will likely be a moving and reflective drama that refuses to overlook Reagan's America's political implications, as festival reviewers have noted, but through its powerful performances and its attentive attention to time and place, it's easy to see why it can be so resonating.
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When it comes to filmmakers examining their heritage, family, and personal upbringing in films, there's a good possibility that Steven Spielberg's personal The Fablemans will give Gray a run for his money and then some. Given his previous work, which also includes 2008's excellent Two Lovers and 2013's celebrated The Immigrants, it's evident that Gray's viewpoint will have a wider scope while also being unafraid to examine the subtleties of this fragile childhood tale.
Gray has had an excellent start to the year, and here's hoping Armageddon Time continues his remarkable run of outstanding films, particularly with the help of an outstanding cast. It doesn't take long to see this well-known festival star for ourselves.
Armageddon Time will have a limited theatrical release on October 28th, before launching nationally on November 11th.