Amazon has released the first official trailer for “The Tender Bar,” the latest directorial effort from George Clooney. Based on the memoir by writer J.R. Moehringer, the movie stars Ben Affleck as a kind-hearted uncle who becomes a father figure to a young boy in a 1970s-set family drama. If the Paul Simon-scored trailer and the title are any indication, “The Tender Bar” appears packed with plenty of scenery-chewing performances and wholesome tears. With a theatrical release on December 17, Amazon could have a bona fide family holiday hit on its hands.
Here’s the official synopsis, per Amazon: “‘The Tender Bar’ tells the story of J.R. (Tye Sheridan), a fatherless boy growing up in the glow of a bar where the bartender, his Uncle Charlie (Affleck), is the sharpest and most colorful of an assortment of quirky and demonstrative father figures. As the boy’s determined mother (Lily Rabe) struggles to provide her son with opportunities denied to her — and leave the dilapidated home of her outrageous if begrudgingly supportive father (Christopher Lloyd) — J.R. begins to gamely, if not always gracefully, pursue his romantic and professional dreams — with one foot persistently placed in Uncle Charlie’s bar.”
Others were less swayed by the sweet melodrama, but IndieWire’s review saw some of its charms: “‘The Tender Bar’ is a pleasantly anecdotal amble down memory lane which features amusing one-liners, nostalgic production design, warm, soft, golden-brown lighting, and an efficient if anonymous directorial style: Clooney’s one flourish is a split-screen sequence over the closing credits. … The film paints an attractive, Spielbergian picture of all-American 1970s domestic clutter, combined with a Scorsese-ish vision of countless talkative relatives bustling between the kitchen and the dinner table.”
The trailer offers a glimpse of Christopher Lloyd as a cantankerous grandfather, alongside the great Lily Rabe as J.R.’s striving mother. Most of the drama appears to focus on Affleck, who has moved comfortably into the dad phase of his career.
“The Tender Bar” was written by screenwriter and novelist William Monahan, who won an Academy Award for “The Departed” in 2007.
Check out the first official trailer for George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar” below: