Mass Trailer: A Gripping Drama Finds Four Parents Struggling In The Aftermath Of A School Shooting

Earlier this year, the 2021 Sundance Film Festival saw the premiere of the powerful, heartbreaking drama "Mass." Written and directed by Fran Kranz in his feature writing and directing debut, the film finds two sets of parents sharing a private, uncomfortable meeting in the aftermath of a school shooting in which one of their kids was the shooter and the other a victim. The result is a quiet, confident, and devastating film that features a quartet of Oscar-worthy performances that will undoubtedly earn plenty of acclaim this fall, and the first trailer has finally arrived.

Mass Trailer

Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton meet with Reed Birney and Ann Dowd in the small room of a local church. It's the first time these parents have met in a calm, quiet setting since the incident in question, but they clearly have a history in the wake of tragedy and all the legal proceedings that followed. The tension is palpable, and the emotions are high. It's an unnerving drama in the most satisfying way, but it will leave you exhausted.

In my review from Sundance earlier this year, I wrote:

"Volumes are spoken in the way that each of these parents desperately try not to upset each other, but the tension eventually boils over, resulting in varied waves of sadness and hostility. Even more is said in the silence between them, and there are several instances where all the sound seems to be sucked out of the room, allowing everyone to recover from the continued animosity. Every single one of these four performances is full of heartbreaking anguish, and it keeps the nearly two-hour runtime from slogging, even if the movie can feel repetitive at times."

"Mass" will undoubtedly be in the awards conversation this year. Though the subject of a school shooting sounds like it might inspire more debate about gun control, this movie is squarely focused on the emotional trauma these parents have endured and the unsettling relationship that tragedy has created between them. There's brief mention of some commonly discussed talking points that arrive on cable news whenever another mass shooting unfolds, but this movie isn't trying to make a statement about any of that. It's about these four people and the unspeakable horror they've endured.

Here's the synopsis for "Mass" from Bleecker Street:

Years after an unspeakable tragedy tore their lives apart, two sets of parents (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney and Ann Dowd) agree to talk privately in an attempt to move forward. In Fran Kranz' writing and directing debut, he thoughtfully examines their journey of grief, anger and acceptance by coming face-to-face with the ones who have been left behind.

"Mass" is slated for theatrical release on October 8, 2021.