Belfast Trailer: A New Look At Kenneth Branagh's Oscar Contender

Kenneth Branagh returns home with "Belfast," his latest film, already described as his "most personal" project yet. Taking place in the very city where he grew up, the semi-autobiographical story chronicles the lives of a working-class family in 1960s Northern Ireland. As a boy comes of age and a family figures out their future, life continues in Belfast, joyful and determined. With the release date closing in, it's almost time to catch Branagh's journey home in theaters.

Check out the new trailer for "Belfast" below.

Belfast Trailer

In his three decades of filmmaking, Branagh has put out a fascinating filmography. He spent years adapting the intricate works of Shakespeare ("Henry V," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Hamlet," "Love's Labour's Lost," "As You Like It"), helming thrilling tales ("Dead Again," "Sleuth," "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit") and ushering us through the fantastical in Marvel's "Thor" and Disney's "Cinderella." Most recently, he's been sporting the giant Hercule Poirot mustache and chasing down murderers as both an actor and director in the Agatha Christie adaptations. But "Belfast" veers off in a new direction, centering Branagh in the personal. The films tells a story of "love, laughter and loss" as young Buddy (Jude Hill) lives through a troubled period in 1960s Belfast.

"Belfast" is in part based on Branagh's own childhood, growing up in the midst of The Troubles, a conflict between unionists (mostly Protestant) and republicans (mostly Catholic). While the Northern Irish unionists were determined to stay in the United Kingdom, the republicans wanted to break off and reunite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland to become a single, independent nation. The resulting tension led to riots and outward conflict, causing many families to leave their homes and seek peaceful refuge elsewhere.

As the trailer reveals, Buddy's father (Jamie Dornan) is looking to relocate his family for safety, while Buddy's mother (Caitríona Balfe) struggles with the idea of leaving her home. Meanwhile, the young protagonist daydreams of a glamorous future that will whisk him away from the Troubles, and otherwise spends his days running around the lively neighborhood, indulging his love of movies and basking in the glow of familial warmth. His grandparents, played by Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds are wry and spry, sticking close to their family and taking care as the young couple decides the family's future. While the trailer paints a portrait of a loving family and dynamic city, "Belfast" certainly won't be without heartache.

The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and has since screened and won the People's Choice Award at the Tornoto International Film Festival. The film also stars Colin Morgan, Lara McDonnell, Gerard Horan, Conor MacNeill, Turlough Convery, Gerard McCarthy, Lewis McAskie, Olive Tennant, Victor Alli, and Josie Walker.

"Belfast" arrives in theaters on November 12, 2021.