Screen Media has released the first trailer for American Splendor writers/directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s coming-of-age drama Ten Thousand Saints. Set in 1988, during the transitional period in New York City when the yuppies started buying up all the “bad” neighborhoods and transforming them into upscale real estate, the film stars Asa Butterfield as an unhappy, bored teenager from Vermont who—after an interaction with a girl—decides to move to New York City, closer to his burnout father (Ethan Hawke). He subsequently develops a closer relationship with said girl (played by Hailee Steinfeld), starts hanging around a straight edge band, and attempts to find himself.
I caught the movie at Sundance earlier this year (click here for my review), and while Butterfield’s character is wholly uninteresting, the film’s saving grace is Ethan Hawke. The guy instantly makes any movie he’s in at least 30% better, and Hawke’s charisma as a 1970s-influenced adult living in a changing NYC is infectious. The film itself, however, takes a roundabout path to get to where you pretty much assume it’s going from the onset. It’s not without merit, but it’s not a particularly memorable entry in the coming-of-age genre.
Watch the trailer below, via Apple, check out Steve’s Sundance interviews with Steinfeld and Emile Hirsch. The film also stars Emily Mortimer and Julianne Nicholson. Ten Thousand Saints opens in theaters and on iTunes on August 14th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Ten Thousand Saints:
Adapted from the novel by Eleanor Henderson, TEN THOUSAND SAINTS is a coming-of-age story about three teenagers in late 1980s New York City—Jude (Asa Butterfield), new to the city from Vermont, “straight-edge” musician Johnny (Emile Hirsch), and troubled, rich uptown girl Eliza (Hailee Steinfeld)—who break away from their messed-up parents (Ethan Hawke and Emily Mortimer) to form their own surrogate family. Set in 1988, a time of great cultural upheaval—against the excesses of the decade, the AIDS epidemic and the gentrification of the city culminating in the infamous Tompkins Square Park riots—TEN THOUSAND SAINTS is a nostalgia trip to a bygone era of New York City.