Byzantium Directed by: Neil Jordan Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley Rating: R Release Date: June 28, 2013
Trailer Score: 8/10
Thoughts by TSR: I was under the impression that this was another PG-13 vampire fantasy aimed primarily at teenagers, so when I clicked play I was very surprised to see Byzantium had earned an R rating. I've had a little bit of interest in this one thanks to Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, and Tom Hollander, but I still didn't expect to like the trailer quite this much. While it's not a knockout that has me rushing to the theater to pre-order tickets or anything, Neil Jordan looks to have crafted a beautiful fantasy that is worthy of attention at the end of June.
Ronan, Riley, and Hollander were the main selling points before this trailer. Ronan looks to do a pretty good job conveying how being 16 forever would be a burden, but a strong performance from her is really not a surprise at this point. It's also nice to see a Hanna reunion between her and Hollander. The real stars of this trailer are Neil Jordan and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt. This thing is filled with beautiful, haunting imagery. Bobbitt's work with Steve McQueen on Hunger and Shame was terrific, so I'm glad to see that continue with a different director. The production design also looks great, and the craft departments should get a chance to show off with a setting that spans hundreds of years. These two minutes do a good job setting up the story and showing off a gorgeous film. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the full scope of Byzantium.