This Week In Trailers: Rose Plays Julie, Worn Stories, After Love, The Palindromists

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they're seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week, we go in search and eventually meet the other woman, we attempt to meet our mother who wants nothing to do with us, get together with some nerds to do some wordplay, and talk about that one piece of clothing we can't do without.

Rose Plays Julie

Directors Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor put a twist on an adoption story.

An only child, Rose has enjoyed a loving relationship with her adoptive parents. However, for as long as she can remember, she's wanted to find her biological parents. After years trying to trace her birth mother, she locates her only to find that she wishes to have no contact. Though shattered, a deepened sense of rejection compels her to keep going. So she travels from Dublin to London to confront her birth mother, Ellen. Ellen is deeply disturbed when Rose turns up unannounced, as her existence threatens the stability of the life she has painstakingly put together. But Rose proves tenacious, and Ellen is forced to reveal a shocking secret she's kept hidden for over 20 years. This revelation forces Rose to accept the violent nature of how she came into existence, and she now believes she has little to lose by confronting her biological father, Peter. What Rose cannot possibly foresee is that she is on a collision course that will prove both violent and unsettling – dark forces gather and threaten to destroy her already fragile sense of her own identity.

Other than that the entire trailer is one, long tense moment, there is something incredible about what we're seeing here. The story of a girl who wants to know her biological mom, the mom demurring that entreaty for reasons I'm sure will be revealed, and the child stalking that mother, it's all so riveting. This feels like a movie that we don't see often enough, and I'm here for as much screen time as Aiden Gillen is given. You'll be uneasy, you'll feel like violence is about to break out at any moment, and, it looks like, you'll enjoy every moment of it.

Worn Stories

Poet William Carlos Williams once said, "No ideas but in things."

Based on the New York Times Best Seller, Worn Stories opens the closets of a diverse group of people to reveal a treasure-trove of tales about the meaning behind articles of clothing. Be it a pair of boots symbolizing survival, a dress that's come to stand for recovery, or a uniform that reaffirms an identity.

The amount of psychic energy that is put into the things we adorn our bodies with on a daily basis is remarkable. A favorite shirt, a favorite pair of pants, that special dress, there are reasons. I'm so enamored with common people's connection to the clothes they identify with more than I do with the waifish and emaciated zombies that strut down runways in clothing that means nothing. The trailer is a testament to the power that our sartorial choices make on some of our lives. It's light, it's airy, it's positive. I'll take it.

After Love

Director Aleem Khan explores what it means to find yourself.

Mary Hussain (Joanna Scanlan), who converted to Islam when she married and is now in her early 60s, lives quietly with her husband Ahmed. Following his unexpected death, she suddenly finds herself a widow.

A day after the burial, she discovers that Ahmed had a secret life just 21 miles away from their Dover home, across the Channel in Calais.

The shocking discovery compels her to go there to find out more, and as she grapples with her shattered sense of identity, her search for understanding has surprising consequences.

When we all pass from this life to whatever comes next, you would hope there are no surprises. Dealing with a loved one's secrets, ones that escape the grave and into the lives of the living, is a story that could go in so many directions. This trailer supposes what one of those directions could be and the results look immensely satisfying. Part mystery, part self-help, and all together drama-filled, this is one of those movies where the ending could go so many ways. I am hooked on whatever comes out of this chance meeting between a pair of skeletons in the closet.

The Palindromists

Director Vince Clemente is having a laugh.

The Palindromists is a documentary delving into the world of palindromes- those peculiar words and phrases that read the same backwards and forwards. Explore palindromes in history and meet the world's greatest palindromists as they see everything backwards preparing for the World Palindrome Championship. The competition is hosted by Will Shortz during The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, where the palindromists will be judged by the smartest wordplay fans in the country. Once they have spent day and night crafting the perfect 'dromes, they will present them to the eager audience and a new World Palindrome Champion will be crowned.

This fits, or at least seems to fit, amongst documentaries like Insert Coin, Somm, The Speed Cubers, and others of this ilk.  Clemente was a producer on one such documentary, 2011's Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters, which shares a similar vibe to what we see here. We've got Weird Al making an appearance, Danica McKellar checks in, all the while Will Shortz kicking things off. It's a veritable nerd gathering, the likes of which could only appeal to people who love this kind of wordplay. Literally. It's good, clean fun, and seems like a wonderful way to spend an hour and a half.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers for possible inclusion in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

  • The Unholy Trailer - Swing and a miss
  • In The Heights Trailer – Really like the vibrancy, but the songwriting feels a little like Hamilton 2?
  • Cruella Trailer - So much of a better trailer than the one they initially gave us
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Trailer - Wham, bam, thank you, sir
  • The Irregulars Trailer - Pass
  • Concrete Cowboy Trailer – I'm intrigued for sure
  • Rutherford Falls Trailer – Really like the meatiness of the subject matter, but do they have to play things that broad?
  • Sasquatch Trailer – Gunna wait for the reviews on this
  • Arlo the Aligator Boy Trailer - Perfect for a 10-year-old
  • Jakob's Wife Trailer – Enjoying the B-Movie schlockiness
  • The Last Cruise Trailer – The origins of a pandemic
  • WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn Trailer – Inject this into my veins