It’s the time of year that we begin to see first look images and footage from some future Oscar players. Not everything will translate, but premiering at the Sundance Film Festival can start the buzz. One of the first films to release a trailer ahead of its debut at the festival is “The Mustang” from Focus Features. With a strong cast and an executive producer as strong as Robert Redford, this one could be an early one to watch for.
“The Mustang” follows Roman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a felon trying to break his past history. He was a violent man and left his daughter to fend for herself. When given the opportunity to partake in a new program, he works with Bruce Dern and Jason Mitchell to break horses. As he goes through therapy sessions with his counselor (Connie Britton) Roman continues to reevaluate his life and the choices he made.
Schoenaearts stars in the film and the actor continues his rise. On paper, Schoenaerts has put in the work to be a star. His excellent turn in “Rust and Bone” was overshadowed by Marion Cotillard. He also provided strong character work in “A Bigger Splash,” “Far From the Madding Crowd” and “Suite Française,” all of which released since 2014. A role like this one can sell Schoenaearts to non-cinephiles, and potentially help to make him a star.
Director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre should gain some acclaim from the film as well. The European director makes her directorial debut with “The Mustang.” She received acclaim for a pair of short films in the past and participated in the Sundance Institute. With a strong cast, her screenplay must have done something right, and visual style looks impressive. Will “The Mustang” become one of the breakout hits of the festival?