For Ellen's Heartbreaking First Trailer Debuts
08.19.12 by Ryan
Fans of Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood), take note: the actor may have his best role yet in the upcoming For Ellen, which debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Starring as a self-absorbed musician, Dano seems to be in terrific form in the movie's first trailer, which doesn't exactly look like it's promising an upbeat story. The movie's synopsis doesn't seem less bleak.
Aspiring rock star Joby Taylor (Dano) has wanted nothing more than to "make it," having flirted with fame but never crossed over into true success. In the midst of a low period in his life, he agrees to sign divorce papers with his estranged wife (Margarita Levieva — Revenge, How To Make It In America) in order to see money from the sale of their home, only to discover that by signing the papers, he will forfeit all custody of his six-year-old daughter, Ellen (newcomer Shaylena Mandigo). With a good-natured lawyer (Jon Heder — Napoleon Dynamite) unable to make headway in reversing the decision, and a girlfriend (Jena Malone — Into the Wile) that represents an era of his life that he might be ready to graduate from, Joby negotiates a visit with his daughter to explore whether he is able to walk away from his child, and whether it might be too late for reconciliation.
Dano doesn't exactly shy from darker material, neither does director So Yong Kim, whose 2008 feature Treeless Mountain followed two young sisters abandoned by their their mother while she looks for her missing husband. Still, the For Ellen trailer emits a haunting and heartbreaking feel, which may be a breath of fresh air for anyone tired from a summer of sequels, prequels, comic book movies, and other studio tentpoles.
For Ellen will open in limited release on September 5th, and will be available on VOD September 18th.