As the great Jeanette Winterson was told, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? To prove a point, this week we have invited the penguins of Happy Feet 2 into the hellish family reunion of Ellens Burstyn and Barkin in Another Happy Day for a face-off you will find only in our abnormally contrived weekly trailer mash (above).
Did you happen to see Justin Bieber rapping recently? Then you will have been prepared for the sight of a bunch of neotenized cartoon penguins throwing shapes and snapping rhymes in voices only a fraction of a tone lower in timbre than those of the hideous Chip and Dale. This is a trailer explicitly for those in the know; otherwise it makes no sense at all. In the vast, cruelly beautiful expanses of the Antarctic, where death lurks in the hostile jaws of sea lions and killer whales, and in the very cold itself, it turns out that penguins occasionally find a small respite via the art form that is rap music.
A more accurate and recognizable portrayal of happiness—as the prelude to misery, gloom and self-loathing—is found in the trailer for Another Happy Day. The directing debut of Barry Levinson's son Sam, this has an ensemble cast of great B-movie faces all getting together for a wedding where the only joy to be found is in acknowledging the naivety and stupidity of the other guests. Ellen Burstyn steals every second she's on screen with glances that chill you colder than a dead penguin's foot, while Demi Moore reminds us what a profound talent she has for looking like a total bitch. Highly recommended to anyone planning to get married ever.
The teaser for Another Happy Day reassures us that our existence is no more than an increasingly painful series of disappointments in a grim and meaningless plod to the grave, but on occasion we can't help but delude ourselves that there is more to life. Helpful in this are the photographs and footage of Charles and Ray Eames delighting in their invention of the kind of creative environment that agencies, marketing shops, and web companies aspire to in their wildest dreams, and doing it back in the '50s and '60s. If you want to know what kind of an office produces a timeless masterpiece like an Eames chair or the pre-Google Earth genius of the short film Powers of Ten, it's one where the staff paint their faces as part of their job. Narrated by universal hipster James Franco, Eames: The Architect and the Painter is the doc of the week.
"Written, directed, filmed and edited by James Westby" doesn't suggest a massive budget, and certainly the production values of the Rid of Me trailer are not on a par with those of any shitty Adam Sandler comedy you can think of. On the other hand, this looks like it has a functioning brain. The familiar tale of a girl dumped by her fiancée twists into a dark little comedy you would have expected to star Ann Magnuson or Glenn Headly once upon a time. And as an added bonus, the otherwise unknown cast includes '80s goddess Theresa Russell.
When Kristen Scott Thomas speaks both English and French in a movie but wears a blond wig in lieu of actual acting, you might think "Europudding." This was the term used back in the '80s to describe sub-par multiplex fodder made with money from more than one European nation in an attempt to compete with sub-par Hollywood multiplex fodder. In fact, Heir Apparent: Largo Winch was made by a single French producer who has recognized that if you are to rehash the Bruce Wayne story as though it were one of those Uncharted video games, you might better serve the local audience by casting as your lead a gentleman possessed of what can only be described as a Gallic profile.
Looking like the first moments of a YouTube wedding video that should end with someone falling backwards into a cake or breaking an ankle on a dance floor is one of the trailers for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which in and of itself is cause for some happiness, because it tells us there is only one more of these movies to go.
With revelatory performances from some of the finest British acting talent breathing, the Tyrannosaur trailer represents the best case for going to the cinema this week, if not for being alive at all. Opening with a few shots of Peter Mullan in default Scottish psychopath mode, this takes a juddering veer to the left as the woman charity worker who chooses to care for him becomes the one most in need. All in a few brief but scrupulously sculpted lines and shots from first-time director Paddy Considine. An actor himself, Considine has done nothing but brilliant work for everyone from Shane Meadows to Chris Morris, and perhaps it takes an actor to recognize that playing Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan against Mullan would generate such fire. Quite possibly the British film of the year, at least according to this trailer.