It’s the calm before the November trailer storm, aka a slow week for trailers. So for this Trailer Wednesday after U.S. Election Day, it’s only fitting we look to Europe for two films yet to be picked up for U.S. distribution: the star-studded crime film “London Boulevard” and the Finnish fantasy/action film “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale,” which may or may not feature a gritty, child-abducting Santa Claus …
Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (“The Departed,” “Kingdom of Heaven”) makes his directorial debut with this British gangster film about a former hitman released from prison (Colin Farrell) who gets a bodyguard gig for a movie star (Keira Knightley) and falls for her, but has to deal with a gangster (Ray Winstone) to whom he owes quite a bit. The film also co-stars David Thewlis (that’s Professor Lupin), his real-life partner Anna Friel (“Pushing Daisies”) and Ophelia Lovibond (“Nowhere Boy”), a newer actress whose name has come up in rumors for major Hollywood roles.
Some of Monahan’s films have been decent as opposed to good (“Body of Lies,” “Edge of Darkness”), but nothing has completely stunk and gangster is definitely more up his alley. Farrell seems to excel in these films as opposed to Hollywood ones so I like this as a leading role for him. The only question is when (if ever) this film will be released in the United States. Guy Ritchie films tend to do well here, so you’d think this would be an easy jump to make. Either way, those of you in the UK can look forward to “Boulevard” on Nov. 26.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
I’m honestly shocked that the Fins and not Hollywood came up with the idea to make a non-traditional Santa Claus film first, if “non-traditional” is a fair way to describe this picture. Then again, the image of Santa is sacred in Western culture, so the film, which earned some buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, will get released on a very small scale by Oscilloscope sometime this holiday season.
During an archaeological dig in the Korvatunturi mountains, Santa Claus is uncovered, but he’s not the Santa we’ve come to know and love; he abducts children, and after terrorizing a village, a father and son capture St. Nick and with some fellow shotgun-wielding hunters, look to sell him back to the corporation that dug him out — that is if the elves don’t free him first.
What can I say about this film to sell it more than it already does?