comet trailer

Every once in a while, you go to the movies with no idea what you’re about to see and witness something special. Even something miraculous, cinema in its purest form, without hype or expectations. That happened to me this summer when I saw Sam Esmail‘s Comet.

In Comet, Justin Long and Emmy Rossum star as a couple whose entire relationship is viewed in a series of connected scenes that change, transform and surprise in a multitude of ways. It opens in limited release December 5 and now the first trailer is here. Check out the Comet trailer below.

Here’s the first Comet trailer via the IMDB.

The trailer doesn’t really do the film justice, especially the crap IMDB embed. Which is good because hopefully you can have an experience similar to mine. Comet is incredibly unique and great. Here’s a short little excerpt my review, which is quoted in the trailer:

Dell (Long) and Kimberly (Rossum) meet at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. They’re each there to watch a meteor shower, Fate, and Dell’s big mouth, help strike up a relationship. That’s one of five different stories Esmail jumps between, almost at random, throughout the course of the movie. We then see the couple in Paris, on a train, doing the long distance thing and meeting up at an apartment. As the film begins, we don’t know when each of these events take place. We know they’re happier in some times than others, but as the film unfolds, one of its biggest pleasures is the slow reveal of the order of things. Little between Dell and Kimberly unfolds in a traditional manner.

We stay invested in these stories because Esmail has written great characters, and the performances are even better. As Kimberly, Rossum is at the top of her game. She gives an award-worthy performance. She’s charming, wacky, somehow attainable, and average, in addition to being appealing and attractive. The balance of wonderful is kind of hard to describe. Long, too, does some of the best work of his career as Dell. He channels the fast-talking portrait of someone you might find in an Aaron Sorkin or David Mamet script, infused with a minor shot of Kevin Smith’s pop culture wit, wrapped around a neurotic emotional center. You can tell Dell is an off-putting guy, but he’s so smart you can’t help but be drawn to him. Esmail has created two wholly original, quirky, but somehow normal characters that Rossum and Long bring to life beautifully.

As the film jumps around the timeline, we begin to question the authority of these stories. Are these just from one character’s point of view? Are these things even happening? There’s never a moment where Comet telegraphs what’s next. You’re always engaged, whether you’re piecing together the narrative or unraveling the long, deep conversations Dell and Kimberly have about the nature of everything. Plus, Esmail constantly fills his frame with something for the audience to consider. Characters are rarely viewed in rote medium shots. They’re almost always seen in close-up, or in the corner of the frame, bathed in some elaborate lighting scheme. The film itself is always hinting at the nature of what’s going on, even when it’s not saying it.

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