First Clips from RAMPART Starring Woody Harrelson

     September 10, 2011

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The Messenger was one of the nice surprises of 2009, a nuanced look at the life of the American soldier.  The gang—Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, and writer/director Oren Moverman—is getting back together for Rampart, which gives us hope for a nuanced look at the life of the American police officer.  Harrelson stars as “a never- changing LAPD cop (Woody Harrelson) whose past is finally catching up with him in the wake of a department-wide corruption scandal.” Foster is joined in the supporting cast by Ice Cube, Brie Larson, Sammy Boyarsky, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Ned Beatty, and Robin Wright.

Rampart is about halfway through its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival as I write this, but we have the first clips from the movie after the jump.

I don’t want to read too much into four minutes of footage out of context.  But Moverman appears to make very deliberate framing choices with Harrelson’s character.  It’s most obvious in the first clip with Weaver, where I am not even sure what objects blur the foreground.  In the second clip, Harrelson is basically just a head peeking over the steering wheel.  The third clip opens with Harrelson hidden behind some structure on the bar before he downs his drink and loosens up to charm.  What, if anything, do you make of it?  Clips via THR:

While I’m judging things out of context: really hope Foster’s performance doesn’t play so mannered over the course of the film.

Official synopsis:

A genre-bending, 1990s Los Angeles police family drama, Rampart explores the dark soul and romantic misadventures of a never- changing LAPD cop (Woody Harrelson) whose past is finally catching up with him in the wake of a department-wide corruption scandal. Along the way, he is forced to confront his disgruntled daughters (Brie Larson, Sammy Boyarsky), his two ex-wives (Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon), a tenacious Deputy DA (Sigourney Weaver), an investigator on his trail (Ice Cube), a homeless witness to his crimes (Ben Foster), his aging mentor (Ned Beatty) and a mysterious new lover who may or may not be on his side (Robin Wright), as he fights for his own sanity and survival.

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