In the year 2019, Adam Driver stood atop the mountain and we bowed down.
In the months before what might be Kylo Ren’s final act in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the man behind the mask is set to have a hell of a year. He’s already appeared in the dead-panniest zombie movie of all time, Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, and headlined Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which approximately three people saw (including us).
Now he’s gearing up for Oscar season. Earlier this week we got a glimpse of Marriage Story, his latest collaboration with While We’re Young writer-director Noah Baumbach. Co-starring Scarlett Johansson, the Netflix original is a frank story of love and divorce that looks absolutely heartbreaking and — well, I’m not crying, you’re crying.
On Nov. 15, we get The Report, which should find Driver delivering the exact opposite of his tender Marriage Story performance. In the film, the renaissance man plays Daniel J. Jones, a Senate staffer tasked by Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was established in reaction to 9/11. Based on the trailer, you get a taste of what writer-director Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) delivers: a taut drama that gifts Driver a handful of rage-filled monologues.
Here’s what I wrote about The Report after being blown back in my chair at the Sundance Film Festival, where the film premiered.
Though the film’s early, bricklaying moments are dangerously dry, The Report reaches the stratosphere of All the President’s Men and Spotlight with Driver’s help. When facts roar out of the actor’s mouth, the investigation intensifies into damnation. It’s riveting, shocking, and downright cathartic.
(Hey, that’s pretty coherent for being written around 1 a.m. during a film festival!)
Amazon acquired The Report out of Sundance for a big chunk of money. Burns’ ripped-from-the-headlines thriller is the streaming giant’s play at Oscars this season, and there’s plenty of reason to think Driver could go the distance in the role. He’s the real deal, and whether he snags the Best Actor award or not isn’t our concern. Whatever happens, at least we get to watch him and bask in this vigorous performance.
The Report will hit theaters on Nov. 15, then quickly follow on Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 29 so you can watch it in the wake of Thanksgiving. Political fun for the whole family!