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The Promise is visually arresting and befittingly nostalgic, but no where near enough so to warrant or rectify the film’s atrociously underdeveloped protagonists and threadbare plot. Director Terry George fails to materialize the sobering and engrossing pathos elicited by genre heavyweights like Schindler’s List and, to a certain extent, George’s own Hotel Rwanda. As a result, The Promise falls subsequently flat.
Co-writers George and Robin Swicord’s (heavily revised) vision of a whimsical, fleeting love-triangle trope backdropped by the Armenian genocide is as bad a narrative combination as it reads, exploiting the atrocity and its victims as mere devices of tragedy in an attempt to humanize characters that scarcely qualify as people that are even remotely worthy of triggering compassion. The only genuine humanness residing in the otherwise haughty film is its desire to produce a movie that’s accessible and informative regarding the plight of the Armenian people. »
- Joseph Falcone
Yesterday, the Toronto International Film Festival gave out its awards for 2016, with Damien Chazelle’s La La Land taking the top prize. That distinction, the People’s Choice prize, also known as the Audience Award, puts it into some very strong company (for those wondering, the first runner up was Lion, while the second runner up was Queen Of Katwe). The original musical, which stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, has been winning over viewers for a few weeks now, starting out at the Venice Film Festival, continuing at the Telluride Film Festival, and now charming everyone at Toronto. At this point, it was already considered the frontrunner in Best Picture, but now, one can say it with more distinction. Frankly, it’s hard not to consider this the one to beat right now. In terms of this particular award and its history, this is a somewhat reliable indicator of prestige. »
- Joey Magidson
Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” has just won the Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, which you probably could have seen coming a mile away. The uplifting musical is exactly the kind of film that appeals across the board en route to claiming an audience prize like this, and it’s guaranteed to be a strong presence in the Oscar season this year.
With Emma Stone’s best actress win for the film in Venice last weekend, this launches the film into the season where it is sure to be a dominant title. And should “La La Land” pick up a best picture nomination in a few months, it will join 14 of 38 People’s Choice winners to do so, including the last four in a row. Five of them went on to win the big prize.
Here’s a quick rundown of those 14 titles, and the other nominations they reaped. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Nick Harley Sep 14, 2016
The Promise, the latest film from gifted Hotel Rwanda director Terry George, is a love story set in Wwi-era Constantinople, that finds brilliant Armenian medical student Michael (Isaac) falling for Ana (le Bon), a sophisticated young woman, amongst the backdrop of the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Ana finds herself in country after following her boyfriend Chris (Bale), an American Associated Press reporter there to cover the war.
Wwi, and specifically the Armenian Genocide, which saw the estimated deaths of between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians, is one of the most overlooked chapters in history. After shedding light on the underrepresented genocide in Rwanda, director George hopes to use the narrative of a love triangle »
The Promise review
The film opens with a truly eye-opening and terrifying title card – one that states that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Turkish during World War I. I was aware of the terrible genocide that occurred during the war, but my sheer ignorance wasn’t aware of its horrific scale.
Terry George directs this epic, ambitious depiction of this horrific mass genocide from one hundred or so years ago. Set in Turkey, the film follows medical student Michael (Oscar Isaac), a brilliant young man who takes the firm decision to settle down with a local girl (Angela Sarafyan) to secure his position at a prestigious school in Constantinople (now »
- Paul Heath
There are many reasons to criticise James Cameron’s record-breaking weepie Titanic but one of the most frustrating reminders of its success lies in Hollywood’s repetitive treatment of historical tragedies ever since. Not that the director invented the formula of placing a love triangle in the middle of adversity, but he showed that it could be extraordinarily profitable – and movies from Pearl Harbor to Pompeii have tried desperately to replicate the package.
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- Benjamin Lee
“Our revenge will be to survive, and have children,” rallies the mayor of an Ottoman city whose Armenian population is targeted for annihilation in Terry George’s “The Promise” — “…and one day, to make movies,” he might as well add, since that is ultimately what “The Promise” is about: Aiming to do for the 1915 Armenian Genocide what “Doctor Zhivago” did for the Russian Revolution, this sweeping romantic epic intends to dramatize a dark chapter so often denied and so seldom depicted onscreen — and yet, the events in question deserve better than a sloggy melodrama in which the tragedy is forced to take a backseat to a not especially compelling love triangle.
Willed into being by Armenian investor-philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian, who established Survivor Pictures in order to finance this project before he passed away last year, “The Promise” was conceived as a glossy, English-language entertainment — not to be mistaken for the »
- Peter Debruge
Terry George‘s The Promise begins with a title card that appears on-screen stating that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Turkish government during World War I. It’s a tragedy that has been depicted before in film, perhaps most notably in Atom Egoyan’s underwhelming Ararat, with ample room still made available to deliver the definitive version. Despite formidable talent on both sides of the camera, unfortunately we’ll have to wait longer for such a drama to arrive.
The film takes place on the brink of World War I in Turkey. Michael (Oscar Isaac), an intelligent, compassionate Armenian, decides to settle down and marry a girl (Angela Sarafyan) that he’s not completely smitten by, but claims that with time he will indeed love her. He lives in Armenia, but opts to journey to Turkey, without his wife, to study medicine at the Imperial Medical School and become »
- The Film Stage
Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac star in a new drama set against the backdrop of what is known as the Armenian genocide. Christian Bale And Oscar Isaac To Star In ‘The Promise’ The Promise, directed by Hotel Rwanda director Terry George, is set in 1914, during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Isaac’s Turkish medical student Michael and […]
- Hillary Luehring-Jones
It’s impossible to talk about World War II without discussing the Holocaust. But World War I—itself not short on unimaginable atrocities—also had its own incident of race-based mass extermination. And what better filmmaker to bring those horrors to our pampered Western eyes than Terry George, the guy who directed Hotel Rwanda?
The Armenian Genocide of 1915—in which the Ottoman Empire systematically killed 1.5 million of its own citizens—serves as the backdrop to a love triangle in George’s newest film, The Promise, which he co-wrote with Robin Swicord (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button). Oscar Isaac plays a medical student who falls in love with a fellow Armenian (The Walk’s Charlotte le Bon) after she travels to Constantinople with an American photojournalist (Christian Bale). Things get complicated. And then they get violent. And then they probably get very depressing, considering what history tells ...
- Dennis DiClaudio
It’s been over a decade since director Terry George had a big hit with the three-time Oscar nominated “Hotel Rwanda,” and his career ever since has been in a steady downward tumble, culminating in his last feature film, 2011’s “Whole Lotta Sole” starring Brendan Fraser which almost nobody saw. So, the filmmaker has returned to war […]
- Kevin Jagernauth
Director Terry George received a warm welcome back to the Toronto International Film Festival, with a little boost from Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac at his side. The stars topline George’s “The Promise,” about a love triangle that plays out against the horrors of the Armenian Genocide. The men are joined by a capable and graceful newcomer in Charlotte Le Bon. The Roy Thompson Hall was glad to be reminded of George’s last Tiff offering, 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda,” which took the audience prize that year. Twelve years later and George has ratcheted up his ambitions. Also Read: Toronto's First Weekend: 'Moonlight' Leads the. »
- Matt Donnelly
The last time he introduced a hot button film at the Toronto Film Festival on a genocidal campaign, Terry George infused Hotel Rwanda with the momentum it needed to break through and make a global impact. He’s back here with The Promise, a sweeping drama set against the backdrop of the Wwi-era genocide of Armenians by Turkish troops. The film stars Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, James Cromwell and Shohreh Aghdashloo. George wrote the films In The Name of th… »
Fresh off a banner year that included Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Oscar Isaac returns to team up with Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon in the upcoming drama The Promise. While a release date hasn't been given for this World War I drama, Survival Pictures has released the first trailer for The Promise. If it does end up getting released at the end of this year, it could end up becoming a sleeper pick during awards season.
The new trailer debuted on Survival Pictures' YouTube, offering our first footage from the movie. The story is set in the year 1914, and as the Great War looms, the vast Ottoman Empire is crumbling. Constantinople (Istanbul), its once vibrant, multicultural capital is about to be consumed by chaos.
Michael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac), arrives in the cosmopolitan hub as a medical student determined to bring modern medicine back to Siroun, »
His latest feature, The Promise, is currently screening at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival and, as this first trailer reveals, plunges into the contested genocide campaign waged by the Turks against the Armenians during the throes of The Great War.
At the heart of George’s story – one he hashed out alongside Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) – is the always-bankable Oscar Isaac as Armenian medical student, Michael, who finds himself at the forefront of a love triangle between himself, a brilliant artist (Charlotte Le Bon) and an American journalist (Christian Bale). We got an early peek of that trio in period garb some weeks ago, but today’s debut snippet really ramps up The Promise‘s awards credentials. It wouldn’t be the first time that »
- Michael Briers
Having Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac as the leads of any film would be enough to warrant a ticket purchase, but even moreso when one of them isn’t in any sort of spandex. This opportunity arrives shortly as they’ve teamed for The Promise, which premieres tomorrow at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the first trailer has landed today.
Directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), it follows an Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac), an artist (Charlotte Le Bon), and a worldly American journalist (Christian Bale) who form a love triangle amid the chaos of the First World War. The first trailer sells the sort of sweeping period romance epic we don’t get enough of these days, so hopefully it delivers.
Check out the trailer below ahead of a Tiff premiere.
- Jordan Raup
Oscar-winning director of “Hotel Rwanda” Terry George is back to tell yet another devastating story centered on war crimes and genocide—this time between the Turks and the Armenian population in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. Following the critically acclaimed series “Show Me a Hero” and last year’s indie hit “Ex Machina,” Oscar Isaac is continuing his streak of great projects with “The Promise.” He stars as an Armenian medical student alongside Christian Bale, who plays a reporter for the Associated Press. “The Promise” looks to be a heartbreaking examination of the period that saw 1.5 million Armenians killed at the hands of the Turks. Standing out against the political backdrop and anchoring the narrative is the love triangle between Chris (Bale), Michael (Isaac), and Ana, played by French actor Charlotte Le Bon (“Bastille Day”). George also co-wrote the script, which is based on a true story, alongside »
Oscar watchers at Tiff are looking for the next movie that could upend the Oscar race, and it could be “The Promise.” It comes from “Hotel Rwanda” director Terry George, and has potent subject matter, telling the story of a love triangle against the backdrop of the Armenian genocide instigated by the Ottoman Empire in […]
- Oliver Lyttelton
One of the hottest acquisition titles to world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, “The Promise” boasts a powerful historical backdrop, a top-notch cast headed by Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, and the return of filmmaker Terry George. The director earned notable acclaim for the Oscar-nominated “Hotel Rwanda” back in 2004, and his first feature since 2011’s “Whole Lotta Sole” once again explores the tragedy and sacrifices made in times of war and genocide. Deadline has exclusively premiered the debut trailer, and it’s a sweeping look at one of history’s darkest moments.
“The Promise” is set during the final days of the Ottoman Empire during Wwi, in which the Turks waged genocide against the Armenian population. Isaac plays an Armenian medical student who arrives in the city and befriends »
- Zack Sharf
Exclusive: After turning the Rwandan genocide into the harrowing film Hotel Rwanda, director Terry George tackles the long-disputed genocide campaign waged by the Turks against the Armenians in World War I. He’s framed it in a romantic triangle among an Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac), an artist (Charlotte Le Bon) and an American journalist (Christian Bale). Here is an exclusive look at the first trailer for a film that has its Gala premiere Sunday night at Roy… »
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