Netflix released a trailer earlier today for the upcoming Sandra Bullock drama The Unforgivable. While predicting a film’s quality by its trailer is arguably not that different from the oft-repeated mistake of judging a book by its cover, if the The Unforgivable is as powerful as its trailer makes it appear, awards season will find the cast and crew buried under trophies. Bullock is joined by an incredible cast, any one of whom could carry their own film.
In the trailer we meet Sandra Bullock’s character Ruth Slater as she’s just being released from a twenty year stay in prison for a violent crime. We don’t know the exact nature of her crime, but when questioned by a character played by Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) she admits she meant to do whatever it was she did, and she’s referred to later as a “cop killer.” In the wake of her release, Slater is determined to find her sister, who she hasn’t seen or spoken to since being sent to prison. While it isn’t clear exactly who they are by the trailer, Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket) and Viola Davis (The Suicide Squad) appear in the preview and have something to do with Slater’s chances of seeing her sister. D’Onofrio seems at least a little sympathetic to her, whereas Davis has a fiery exchange with her. You can watch the trailer below.
Along with the other amazing talent in the trailer, Rob Morgan appears prominently as Sandra Bullock’s parole officer. Fans of Netflix’s Marvel series should remember Morgan as Turk Barrett — a low level but charismatic crook who appears most prominently in Daredevil, and reprises the role for brief, usually humorous appearances in The Defenders, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and The Punisher. He also gets a chance to play a character working on the other side of the law in Netflix’s Stranger Things as Officer Powell.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about The Unforgivable last month, Sandra Bullock said there is something of a murder mystery to the film. Based on the 2009 British miniseries Unforgiven, the film slowly reveals not just what she did twenty years before, but why she did it. She called the film “a murder mystery within a very complex character drama.”
Sandra Bullock also told EW that audiences shouldn’t necessarily expect going into The Unforgivable rooting for Ruth and her quest to be reunited with her sister. Pointing out that there is “a lot of hatred and anger and bitterness and sorrow” associated with her character’s departure from prison, Bullock said as her character refuses to quit looking for her sister, you’re likely to ask yourself “‘Why can’t you let it go? This family member was traumatized by your actions — let it go! Stop harming these people all over again.'”
One of immediately obvious promising qualities of The Unforgivable is its wonderful cast. Sandra Bullock told EW she couldn’t have done it without costars like D’Onofrio, Morgan, Davis, Bernthal, Richard Thomas (The Waltons), Aisling Franciosi (Game of Thrones), and W. Earl Brown (Deadwood). She said “everybody dreams about” working with the kind of cast she had on The Unforgivable and that they elevated her performance.
You’ll get to see that performance pretty soon. The Unforgivable will be released in select theaters on November 24. The film will stream on Netflix on December 10.