Only added to the release schedule less than a month ago, Focus Features' latest bid for some 2012 awards season attention is Gus Van Sant's Promised Land starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, from a script by the two performers.
Damon was originally set to make this his directorial debut, but in pre-production his schedule just wouldn't allow for it so his Good Will Hunting helmer stepped in to take over as the two look to once again tap into some Oscar glory.
The film features Damon as Steve Butler, an ace corporate salesman who is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), to close a key rural town in his company's expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company's offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (Krasinski), as well as the interest of a local woman (Rosemarie DeWitt). Promised Land explores America at the crossroads where big business and the strength of small-town community converge.
I've added the trailer and poster directly below (via Apple). Give 'em a watch and let me know what kind of Oscar potential you see. Pundits are clearly keeping an eye on the film as a potential Best Picture contender with thoughts toward Director, Actor (Damon), Supporting Actor (Holbrook), Supporting Actress (McDormand), Director and Screenplay. You agree?
Promised Land will have an Oscar qualifying run beginning December 28.