It looks like at the age of 52, director Luc Besson is ready to move on from his testosteron- fueled action pics and crayon-outlined children’s entertainment. He’s ready to get a hug from the folks who give out golden statues, and to try and make that happen, he’s delivering “The Lady.”
While it won’t have a shot for Best Foreign Film — France has selected “Declaration of War” as their awards-season horse — the film will be making its way to theaters courtesy of Cohen Media Group and Europacorp in an Oscar-qualifying run later this year (with expansion in 2012), and at the very least there will be a push for Michelle Yeoh. Based on the true story of Burmese pro-democracy politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the film takes place between 1988 – when Aung San Suu Kyi left Oxford to visit her sick mother and ended up staying in Burma – and 1999, the year her husband, Michael Aris (David Thewlis), died after being diagnosed with cancer. Aung San Suu Kyi was faced with leading a democratic revolution even as that very decision kept her from her husband and family.
While some of the dramatic beats, particularly in the first half of the trailer, seem almost too straightforward or downright hokey (“Put a lot of pressure on that woman!”) there is no denying that by the time the trailer wraps up, “The Lady” boasts a compelling sweep. And certainly, Yeoh looks very strong in the lead role (while Thewlis’ part seems more or less thankless). Tonally, “The Lady” plays like exactly the sort of fare the Academy would be guaranteed to eat up five or ten years ago, but with voters taking a chance on edgier films more recently, it’ll be interesting see how this movie enters the awards season conversation.
No firm release dates yet but we’re sure those will be sorted out soon. Watch below.