You might know Brady Corbet best as one of the murderous fellas in the American remake of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (2007). He is sort of the Leonardo DiCaprio of independent cinema. With roles in smaller scale but excellent films like Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) and Clouds of Sils Maria (2014), he really has a knack for picking projects that turn out to be top notch. Could this mean that his directorial debut could end up in the same category? The tense, nightmarish trailer, which blares the original score by Scott Walker, certainly makes it seem possible – I’d go as far as to say highly likely.
Loosely based on a short story by Jean-Paul Sartre set during the aftermath of World War I, The Childhood of a Leader follows Prescott (played by Tom Sweet), the young son of an American diplomat living in France in 1918 as he comes to terms with his immense privilege and learns to use it to manipulate the adults around him. Those adults include Robert Pattinson, Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac), Bérénice Bejo and Liam Cunningham. The development of a frightening and powerful ego is masked by his angelic face and his coming of age coincides with the rise of Fascism in Europe. Both in story and style, the trailer shows that the film channels a resemblance to classics like The Omen (1976). The cinematography looks masterful and the soundtrack is the icing on the cake for the historical mystery drama.
The Childhood of a Leader has already been released a limited number of cinemas in the US and the UK. Whether the film itself lives up to the expectations or not – that is one of the best trailers I have seen. You can watch it below.
Stacy Martin in The Childhood of a Leader
Robert Pattinson in The Childhood of a Leader