One of the last remaining questions marks in the 2017 Oscar race, Ben Affleck’s “Live By Night” arrives in theaters for an awards-qualifying run this Christmas, three years after “Argo” took home Best Picture. Affleck was famously snubbed for Best Director that year, and all eyes are watching his new film very closely to see if it can get him that elusive first directing Oscar nomination. All the ingredients for a powerhouse drama are certainly there, especially since it finds the actor-director adapting Dennis Lehane for the first time since “Gone Baby Gone,” arguably his best film.
Based on Lehane’s 2012 novel of the same name, “Live By Night” follows the rags-to-riches odyssey of gangster Joe Coughlin (Affleck). The son of a Boston cop, Coughlin finds himself pulled to the dark side as he takes to the criminal underworld in Florida and thrives in a new life of organized crime, rising from bootlegger to notorious gangster. The star-studded ensemble includes Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, Brendan Gleeson and Chris Cooper.
While the source material and Affleck’s involvement is certainly drawing interest, the new trailer hints that the real star here is probably cinematographer Robert Richardson. The longtime DP for Quentin Tarantino looks to be in top form, and at the very least “Live By Night” will be a show-stopper when it comes to visuals.
Warner Brothers will release “Live By Night” in select theaters December 25. Watch the official trailer.