This Week in Trailers: ‘Les Miz,’ ‘Lay the Favorite,’ and More!

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Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. It’s a bit of a light batch after last week’s Cannes-fueled riches, but we’ve got new titles from Anne Hathaway, Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Russell Crowe, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, and Catherine Zeta Jones, as well as a Cannes winner and one of our favorite docs of the year. Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Lay the Favorite

The latest from director Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dangeous Liasons) got some of the most scathing reviews of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and while we’re willing to admit it’s a bit of a mess, it does have one important element in its favor: a terrific dizzy dame performance by a nearly unrecognizable Rebecca Hall, who proves an unexpectedly smashing screwball comedienne. The movie loses its way mostly by forcing her bubbly character into dull relationship melodrama stuff, and the trailer wisely focuses on the faster, bouncier elements of the picture. Not a great movie, but a decent trailer that showcases the picture’s strengths and buries its weaknesses.

Branded

Once you get past the idea of an advertisement for a movie about the insidiousness of advertising, this looks like a fairly clever little sociological thriller. Writer/directors Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn come from the ad world, so they know of what they speak, and the idea of wrapping up socio-political commentary within the tropes of science fiction is one that is always welcome. Good supporting cast, also: we can never get enough of Jeffrey Tambor, or of evil Max von Sydow, and remember Leelee Sobieski? So do we! Sure, the capacity for corn is high, but we’re gonna give this one a shot.

Les Misérables

Music theater nerds rejoice! After years of attempts, the stage musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel is finally coming to the screen, under the hand of director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), and here’s our first peek at the film — a teaser, understandably, since it won’t hit theaters until Christmas. But it offers up pretty much everything you need to know; i.e., they finally made it into a movie, all these people are in it, Anne Hathaway’s going to sing that song that every teenage thesp auditions with, and it will all be very dramatic and triumphant and so forth. Your film editor will admit something of a lack of anticipation for this title, but this clip does exactly what a teaser trailer should do: it rallies the troops who are familiar with the property, and potentially piques the curiosity of those who aren’t.

The Hunt

Here’s one that clearly should have been on our Cannes wish-list: the latest drama from Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), which concerns a man falsely accused of pedophilia. (What do you expect from this guy, a nice rom-com?) Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor award at Cannes for his work in the film, which looks tough, unforgiving, and downright harrowing.

The Imposter

Bart Latyon’s gripping documentary was a critical fave at Sundance and SXSW, where we saw it and were blown away by its masterful style and too-good-to-be-true story. This new trailer is keeping most of that story’s twists under wraps, and we’ll follow its lead; suffice it to say that the trailer nicely captures the film’s noir-ish tone and sleight-of-hand narrative style.