Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Trailer Time: Hacksaw Ridge Trailer #1 (2016) *Is This Gibson’s Return to Directorial Brilliance?*

Hollywood loves a comeback story, but given why Mel Gibson’s been wandering in the desert for a decade, his seems the most unlikely comeback of all.  Though I thought it was underwhelming, his acting return in Blood Father was lauded, and his first directed film in a decade earned a 10-minute standing ovation at The Venice Film Festival.  The trailer is extremely impressive, and it looks like Gibson and Hacksaw Ridge will be figuring into Oscar season.

hacksaw-ridge-movie

*From Deadline
After wowing critics at early morning press screenings on Sunday, Mel Gibson’s pacifist World War II action drama, Hacksaw Ridge, had its red carpet world premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival last night. The film played to a roughly 10-minute standing ovation — long standing-Os are not as common a happenstance on the Lido as they are at some other festivals. At about six minutes into the ovation, Gibson and the actors were asked to go down into the audience. Check out the photos from inside the Sala Grande below (outside, some fans greeted Gibson with their faces painted blue, Braveheart-style).

 In attendance alongside Gibson were stars Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer and Luke Bracey as well as co-screenwriter Robert Schenkkan.
'Hacksaw Ridge' premiere, 73rd Venice Film Festival, Italy - 04 Sep 2016
REX/Shutterstock

Garfield plays Desmond T Doss, the real-life conscientious objector who saved 75 men in Okinawa without ever firing or carrying a gun. The faith-based film and horrors-of-war action drama is about a man who “does something extraordinary and supernatural, really, that inspired me,” Gibson had earlier told the press corps. “A lot of attention needs to be paid to our warriors; they need some love and understanding. I hope this film imparts that message. If it does nothing but that, that’s great,” said Gibson.

This is the first film Gibson has directed in a decade and last night at the gala premiere, he and the actors were “overwhelmed” and “very truly speechless,” I’m told by a person close to the gang. A private dinner followed hosted by Hacksaw‘s Italian distributors, Andrea Leone and Eagle Pictures.

There were emotional toasts, notably by producer Bill Mechanic who worked for 13 years to bring the project to life. While at Fox, Mechanic worked with Gibson on Braveheart and called Hacksaw the director’s “greatest film.” One attendee observed, “It was particularly meaningful.” Also at the event were IM Global CEO Stuart Ford and Brian Oliver of Cross Creek Pictures. Principal financiers were Cross Creek, Demarest Films and IM Global who acquired international rights for about half the film’s $40M budget and essentially sold out in Berlin last year.

Lionsgate releases Hacksaw domestically in the heart of awards season on November 4.
Hacksaw Ridge

7 thoughts on “Trailer Time: Hacksaw Ridge Trailer #1 (2016) *Is This Gibson’s Return to Directorial Brilliance?*”

  1. Dave, we all have our demons. Also I’m pretty sure that Gibson suffers from extreme mental illness. I do not judge.

    What I want is to bask in Gibson’s filmmaking genius some more, because there are no words. I understand that people found Passion of the Christ to be powerful because of the subject matter. From a purely technical standpoint I thought it was very disappointing. But Braveheart and the utterly bizarre, tragically unsung Apocalypto are two of my favorite movies. I think a lot of people are going to be able to relate to Hacksaw Ridge, because a lot of people can’t help but speculate what they would do if they were forced to be soldiers.

    1. I have no doubt whatsoever that Gibson is mentally ill. There’s no way he could have behaved the way he did during his breakdown for the first 20 years he was a star and it not break out, let alone allow him to direct. I think the nature of his breakdown was a combination of time, the beliefs of his father, and the stress and backlash from those who criticized Passion as anti-Semitic. I think that was a perfect storm to trip a full blown psychotic break, and I don’t know if he’s gotten help, I certainly hope he has, and he’s got a lot of apologizing to do, but no one is without their demons as you rightly put. Given how harshly he was put out to pasture though, I never thought we’d see him back let alone behind the lens with something that looks this powerful.

      1. Are you a fan of Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King? Because it’s a movie that means a lot to me. It’s actually my favorite cinematic treatment of the subject of absolution (in a general sense, not a religious one). The whole movie is about it, from the Pinochio doll (“do you ever get the feeling you’re being punished for your sins?”) to the catchphrase in the sitcom that Jeff Bridges’ character wants to star in (“Forgive me!”).

        I would hope that if I ever wronged another human being the way that Bridges wronged Robin Williams in that movie, the man I wronged would forgive me. But the far more important takeaway is this: if I were wronged the way that Williams was wronged, I really, really, really hope that I would be able to forgive the way that Williams’s character forgave.

  2. I’m glad Hacksaw Ridge gets to be nominated for the Oscar. It’s not just Mel Gibson’s movie, it’s the effort of many excellent people & it’s about an amazingly strong person. I think Hacksaw Ridge has managed to do the things that Mel Gibson hoped for – entertain, educate & elevate.

    1. I think it did as well. The violence in Hacksaw is completely historically accurate but it feels different than Gibson’s earlier films which at times seemed almost to revel in it. Doss’ story and his creed is so antithetical to the carnage around him that it heightens his bravery and makes the violence of war seem even more repugnant. That is something I don’t think Gibson could have achieved in portraying so well without going through a personal journey of his own. That’s my hope for him, at least. But when you read the actual Medal of Honor transcript (which I stuck in my review of the film), you learn just how much Doss did and sacrificed. It would be easy to dismiss the heroics as a Hollywood version of his story, but if anything they softballed it. He was a remarkable man in a remarkable time. Great comment!

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