While producers, filmmakers, and distributors hustle to get their movies in one of the major fall film festivals—Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York—one movie that casually sidestepped all of them was Stephen Daldry‘s “Trash.” The Brazil-shot film premiered at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival (naturally), hit the Haifa Film Fesitval, then the Rome Film Festival, with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival coming later this week, and the Stockholm International Film Film Festival next month. Now the first reviews are starting to roll in.
While the movie features names like Rooney Mara, Wagner Moura, and Martin Sheen, it actually pivots around three boys (Rickson Teves, Eduardo Luis, and Gabriel Weinstein) and a wallet full of cash found while trash-picking in the local dump. With a reward out for its return, they turn to a pair of missionaries who may just be able to help them solve the mystery, all while dodging the cops and other dangers on their tail. And, at least from the first small handful of English reviews, the movie works, with Danny Boyle‘s “Slumdog Millionaire” used as a point of reference more than once.
“Trash” opens in the U.K. in January, but there’s no stateside date yet. Check out the early word below, followed by some new pics.
The Guardian: “With Trash, Daldry does what he’s been doing since his breakthrough, ‘Billy Elliot‘; he delivers a well-crafted, above-average film that aims high but invariably falls short….The trash heap Raphael and his friends dig through was created by the production because real landfills contain a high level of toxic waste. Daldry has talked about how social-justice movies are often downers, which is why he ended ‘Trash’ on an optimistic note that undermines otherwise strong thematic elements. It is at odds with the performances and feels as inorganic as Daldry’s ready-made trash heap, though not enough to sabotage an otherwise enjoyable effort.”
Variety: “Stephen Daldry’s Brazilian answer to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’….[the film is] audience-friendly to a fault.”
THR: “At best, ‘Trash’ works as a vibrant, occasionally suspenseful postcard-portrait of a place that’s always great to see on the big screen.”
Cineuropa: ” ‘Trash’ is too perfect, just and correct not to be liked by a vast audience. It might not be appreciated by those who expect something rougher and closer to the harsh reality.”