The first trailer for the promising hydro-fracking drama Promised Land has just been released, throwing its hat into the end-of-the-year Oscar-qualifying season somewhat late. Written by co-stars Matt Damon and John Krasinki, the film was originally set to mark the former’s directorial debut before scheduling issues required him to pass those duties on to his Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant. Damon stars as a likeable corporate salesman who, alongside his colleague (Frances McDormand), arrives in a rural town with the aim of convincing its struggling citizens to sell the drilling rights to their lucrative properties. The seemingly easy job becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (John Krasinski), as well as the interest of a local woman (Rosemarie DeWitt). With its hot topic theme of hydro-fracking — which incorporates both economic decline in small town America as well as the dubious ethics of modern corporations — as well as a stellar cast all looking in fine form, Promised Land certainly looks like an awards contender, and as long as the film’s argument doesn’t end up being too preachy — which it shouldn’t, with the consistently intelligent Damon involved — I think this could be a real winner.
Promised Land opens December 28 in the US. Check out the first trailer and poster below (via The Playlist).