A24 has released the first trailer for Waves. This is the latest from writer/director Trey Edward Shults, who last gave us the atmospheric horror flick It Comes At Night in 2017. This looks to be a massive departure for Shults, as this is a straight-up human drama with a cast led by Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us, Black Panther). It's far too early to say whether or not this is an Oscar contender, but one would have a hard time not believing this will be part of the conversation after watching this initial footage.
The trailer opts to paint an atmospheric picture, as opposed to laying everything out in a nice, clean, linear way. And it's all the better for it. We see a ton of lush, gorgeous imagery set against an emotional backdrop. While not explicitly stated, it's crystal clear the family at the heart of this tale is going through some major emotional trials. There are massive swells of lush music, courtesy of Frank Ocean, joyous moments, heartbreak and many slices of life. It looks to be a showcase for stellar performances from its lead stars, if this footage is anything to go by. If the movie can keep this up for two hours, this could be something special.
Alongside Sterling K. Brown, the full cast also includes Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (It Comes At Night), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Taylor Russell (Escape Room), Alexa Demie (Euphoria) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (The House With a Clock in its Walls). Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, two of the most desired composers in the business right now, composed the score. This thing is stacked in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, Waves is said to trace the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family. This group is led by a domineering father who means well, despite his overbearing nature. This family must navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the wake of a tragic loss. The movie is described by the studio as "a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth even in the darkest of times."
The movie was recently screened at the Telluride Film Festival. Plain and simple, critics love it. With seven reviews officially counted, it holds an unblemished 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with praise being heaped upon the story crafted by Trey Edward Shults. The word "masterpiece" has even been thrown around a bit. Will that equate to box office success? Will that amount to awards season love? It's impossible to say just yet, but that's a solid way to start for a relatively small movie trying to make its way into the public consciousness. It will also be screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, which means we should be getting another wave of critical reactions very soon. Waves is set to hit theaters on November 1. Be sure to check out the trailer from the A24 YouTube channel for yourself.