Open Road Films has released the first trailer for the Armenian genocide drama The Promise. Directed by Hotel Rwanda filmmaker Terry George, the film stars Oscar Isaac as a medical student whose relationship with a fellow Armenian girl (played by Charlotte Le Bron) strikes up a rivalry with the woman’s American journalist boyfriend (played by Christian Bale) and becomes downright dangerous as the Ottoman Empire begins to crumble. As the Turks begin rounding up any and all Armenians in what would become a genocide, these three characters try to navigate their way to survival.
I caught this movie at the Toronto International Film Festival last September (read my full review here) and it’s almost impressively old fashioned. My first thought leaving the theater was that it felt like a movie that wins Best Picture in the mid-90s. It’s long, it’s sweeping, it’s somewhat boring, and it tackles a very important historical event with movie stars. Plus the sappy romance, of course. It’s not a bad movie per se, and it’s undoubtedly covering a very important and horrific historical event, but the craft and form—from the script to the performances—almost feels out of date.
But you may very well feel differently when you see the film for yourself. Check out the trailer below. The Promise opens in theaters on April 21st and also stars Shoreh Aghdashloo.