the brutalist

It’s film festival season, which means we’re getting a surge in casting news for arthouse dramas that feature a few buzzy stars and are helmed by a rising auteur. And that’s what we’re getting with The Brutalist, a “sweeping immigrant drama” from Vox Lux director Brady Corbet which has landed quite a star-studded cast of stars who look good in 1940s fashion, including Joel EdgertonMarion Cotillard, and Mark Rylance.

Deadline reports that Edgerton, Oscar winners Cotillard and Rylance, as well as Sebastian Stan (Captain America) and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) are set to star in The Brutalist, Corbet’s follow-up to his pop star drama starring Natalie Portman, 2018’s Vox LuxCorbet will be taking a big 180 from the borderline satire of Vox Lux to helm a postwar immigrant drama described as an “epic saga and unconventional love story.”

Co-written with his partner Mona Fastvold, The Brutalist chronicles “30 years in the life of a visionary architect named László Toth (Edgerton) and his wife Erzsébet (Cotillard) who flee post-war Europe to rebuild their legacy and witness the birth of modern America. However, their lives are changed forever by a mysterious and wealthy client (Rylance),” per Deadline. The film’s protagonists are both Holocaust survivors, according to Corbet, and the film will shoot in English, Yiddish, Hungarian and some Italian.

“Amidst a revamped cycle of populism and prejudice in the 21st Century, The Brutalist is a film which celebrates the triumphs of the most daring and accomplished visionaries; our ancestors,” Corbet said in a statement. “It is the project which is so far the closest to my heart and family history. I so look forward to reuniting with many of our closest collaborators, as well as some exciting new ones, to realise what we all anticipate to be a vital and urgent motion picture.”

Producer Andrew Lauren, who is producing alongside D.J. Gugenheim  for Andrew Lauren Productions, added, “Brady’s third feature, The Brutalist, is a continuation of his unique interpretation of major historical moments of the past century.”

Also producing is Brian Young for Three Six Zero, Trevor Matthews and Nick Gordon for Brookstreet Pictures, with Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, and David Hinojosa of Killer Films are set as executive producers.

Filming is set to begin in January 2021, with part of the film shooting in Poland. Also starring in the stacked ensemble are Isaach De Bankolé (Black Panther), Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle), Raffey Cassidy (The Killing Of A Sacred Deer) and Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac). It certainly sounds like an impressive cast and prestigious premise, but it’s somewhat of an odd pivot for Corbet, an actor-turned-filmmaker who made waves with the acclaimed but divisive Vox Lux. You’d think he would follow up with something more risky and exciting than an arthouse postwar drama, but perhaps The Brutalist could be that.

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