Whenever Martin Scorsese directs a movie, it’s a foregone conclusion that it will be considered an Oscar contender. And so here we have the first trailer for his latest film, Silence, starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson, opening next month. Already the campaign narrative for Silence has emerged. This is Marty’s “passion project”; it took him 28 years to finally make it happen. So, basically, the argument here is that he’s cared about the story longer than anyone else in the race has cared about their story. Also, how did Leonardo DiCaprio miss out on this role?
Silence, to me at least, is about a crisis of conviction. And not necessarily whether or not your conviction is legitimate, but whether or not you can and should abandon that conviction, your faith, for the sake of others. For the wellbeing of others. Whether or not your faith is better served not by absolute interpretation, but by compassionate action. It’s timely, in these times. What makes faith so complicated, of course, is that it is, as the title suggests, a silent presence in our lives, as reflected in the final words of this preview: “Am I just praying to silence?” Since faith is so spare with her answers then, the sound of the film has a lot more work to do. This trailer is not definitely not silent. These violins are working!
Still, I’m a little worried that Silence is going to end up being about a couple of Christians going into Japan to defend Jesus against the barbaric local heathens. The book, on which the film is based, is certainly not that. And Scorsese is certainly not an inexperienced director. But if his approach to this material is the way it was in The Wolf Of Wall Street, which in my mind glorified the excess of the morally compromised, who ruined so many lives in pursuit of personal greed (haha! these douchebags knew how to party, roar!), well, then I’m kinda nervous.
As for Andrew Garfield, he was still with Emma Stone when he started shooting this film. Rumours of their breakup began when he was on location. Those early rumours were wrong as he and Emma were together again when he wrapped but word is, it took him a while to shake off his experience, his character, and that may have been one of the reasons why they eventually broke up. Which makes it more interesting her reaction to Isabelle Huppert’s comments during The Hollywood Reporter Actress Roundtable that I mentioned in yesterday’s intro. Isabelle insisted that she doesn’t carry her characters with her, that she doesn’t live with them after she’s done playing them. Emma leaned in then and asked her to elaborate. Was she asking for herself, or was she asking about someone else?