Return Directed by: Liza Johnson Starring: Linda Cardellini, Michael Shannon, John Slattery Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: February 10, 2012 (VOD on February 28, 2012)
TRAILER SCORE: 8/10
Thoughts by TSR: The story of a soldier coming home and having trouble re-adapting has been done time and time again, but it’s being explored once more in Liza Johnson’s aptly titled Return. The staleness of the story might be a deterrent if not for a couple of things. The first is the strong cast. The other is that this time it focuses on a woman, which should be a refreshing change of pace. It remains to be seen if those factors will elevate this film into something memorable, but they do give me hope that Return will be a good film in its own right.
As I mentioned above, the cast is probably the biggest selling point. Linda Cardellini is an actress I’ve always liked, and one I wish would have broken out post-“Freaks & Geeks.” She impressed me with limited screen time in Brokeback Mountain, so I’m thrilled to see her get a lead role. The trailer spends a fair amount of time showing quotes raving about her performance. I can’t say for certain whether she’ll live up to all that, but what we’re shown looks like strong work. We also see John Slattery from “Mad Men” and Michael Shannon. I always enjoy seeing Slattery, and it’s refreshing to see Shannon play someone who doesn’t appear to be totally insane.
Another thing I like about the trailer is how messy and tense it is. This is helped out by the use of sound and the bits of quiet intensity Cardellini brings to much of the trailer. That seems like it will reflect the feel of the film quite well, and it is one more reason Return could be one to keep an eye on here in the early part of 2012.