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The Promise.

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  • The Promise.

    I have not seen this film yet but here is a review (not mine).

    The Promise review – Oscar Isaac tackles Armenian genocide in cliched but involving romance


    Hotel Rwanda director Terry George takes on a largely uncovered part of history in this often soapy but well-intentioned and extravagantly mounted epic

    xThe Promise Photograph: PR

    Benjamin Lee


    Tuesday 13 September 2016 11.57 BST

    There are many reasons to criticise James Cameron’s record-breaking weepie Titanic but one of the most frustrating reminders of its success lies in Hollywood’s repetitive treatment of historical tragedies ever since. Not that the director invented the formula of placing a love triangle in the middle of adversity, but he showed that it could be extraordinarily profitable – and movies from Pearl Harbor to Pompeii have tried desperately to replicate the package.

    Denial review – Rachel Weisz makes heavy weather of Holocaust courtroom drama

    Despite its pedigree – with a top-notch cast and a script by David Hare – this drama about the real-life libel case involving disgraced historian David Irving never comes to life

    Hotel Rwanda director Terry George has found himself another devastating, and far less covered, genocide to focus on, but in order to warrant the extravagant scale, a romantic trio has been placed front and centre. The film starts in Armenia in 1914 and follows Michael (Oscar Isaac), a man working in an apothecary, who dreams of becoming a doctor. But to afford the fees, he gets betrothed to a local woman and uses the dowry to go to school in Constantinople. Once he arrives, he quickly falls for Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) but – you guessed it – she’s already in a relationship. Her boyfriend is the fiery Chris (Christian Bale), an American journalist reporting on the growing tensions between Turkey andArmenia. As Michael and Ana get closer, war breaks out and the three find themselves in the middle of a terrifying situation.

    There’s something rather dusty about The Promise as George pushes his characters through a string of soapy machinations that feel incredibly familiar. But there’s also something rather comfortingly reliable about it as well and, while a tad workmanlike, his solid direction ensures that the drama is mostly involving. It also helps that the Armenian genocide is a relatively unexplored period of history and makes for a horrifying backdrop.

    Subtlety isn’t the film’s strong point – with certain lines of dialogue (“I’m going to slaughter everyone on this mountain!”) proving to be hilariously on the nose and Bale forced into some rather hammy scenes of rage. Isaac fares a little better and it’s refreshing at least for his character not to be a natural born fighter (there’s one rather nicely observed scene where he struggles to load a gun) but his chemistry with Le Bon is nonexistent. This proves to be problematic given the film’s focus on romance, and one does wish that there is more context provided to the conflict itself and a wider view of the atrocities taking place.

    But rather like Russell Crowe’s similarly creaky directorial debut The Water Diviner last year, there’s something to enjoy about its traditional brand of storytelling, devoid of any irony. There are definitely more interesting and satisfying films to be made about the Armenian genocide and this is never going to become a Titanic-sized success – but it’s a solid, if overly soapy, drama.

    Hayastan or Bust.

  • #2
    Re: The Promise.

    November 15, 2016xx16:53
    Turkey constructed a wall of denialism – Forbes on Armenian Genocide themed “The Promise”
    Author of the American Forbes magazine Stefan Ihrig has published an article on the Armenian Genocide themed movie “The Promise” and about the denial atmosphere surrounding it.

    STEPANAKERT, NOVEMBER 15, ARTSAKHPRESS-ARMENPRESS:xIhrig titled the articlex“Genocide Denial Goes Viral: 'The Promise' And The IMDB”.
    The author says speaking about the Armenian Genocide one becomes the target for Turkish nationalists and deniers.
    “Writing this is dangerous: Speaking out on the Armenian Genocide meansxtaking a huge risk. At the very least, it will be an exhausting experience,xgetting harassed online, trolled, threatened, down-rated on Amazon and publiclyxvilified. Until now, this was true mainly for individuals—academics, artists and activists, “he writes. x
    Later in the article Ihrig discusses the recent Turkish protests over a concert in Germany:
    “Just in the last weeks, Turkey left thexEuropean Union’s cultural program in protest over axpiece honoring the victimsxof the genocide by the Dresden Symphonic Orchestra which was sponsored by thexprogram. Most recently, Turkey prevented a concert—again the very samexpiece—at the German Consulate in Istanbul. And now, we are in the middlexof the next anti-Armenian campaign. This time its object is a Hollywood movie,xThe Promise, an epic focusing on thexArmenian Genocide, starring amongst others Christian Bale. Yet, this time itxmight actually backfire and go another way.”
    The article also presents the past efforts of Turkey of failing Armenian Genocide themed movies in Hollywood.
    “All this has a long tradition. Eighty years ago the Turkishxgovernment forced Hollywood to drop a movie project based onxThe Forty Days of Musa Dagh, then a best-sellingxnovel on the Armenian Genocide by German-language author, Jew and outspokenxHitler opponent Franz Werfel.xThe FortyxDays of Musa Dagh,xoriginally written as a warning against Hitler throughxthe prism of the Armenian Genocide, never saw the silver screen. Such a moviexcould have also raised awareness of the fate of the Jews in Nazi Germany at thextime and later of the ongoing Holocaust. It could have shaped the “narrative”xof the struggle against Hitler.xMany have since been interested to finally turnxthe novel into a major production, most recently, for example, Mel Gibson andxSylvester Stallone, but Turkish opposition and obstruction seemedxinsurmountable”, the article reads.
    “The Turkish government has constructed a very solid and relativelyxsuccessful wall of enforced silence, blocking attempts not only to acknowledge,xbut even to discuss the topic through various forms of intimidation. Even if methods of intervention have changed, Turkish denialism isxnot a thing of the past. It is less often direct intervention by the governmentxor the embassy, but rather a general atmosphere of intimidation, fear and enforcedxsilence”, Stefan Ihrig says.
    Speaking about “The Promise”, Stefan Ihrig says the movie made it further than the past projects mainly because of independent financing. He says it is one of the most expensive independently financed movies so far.
    “The movie was screened in September at thexToronto International Film Festival to rather small-sized audiences. Like anyxmovie of note, it has its IMDB entry readyxwhere you can find all the information on the movie and where people can ratexthe film from one star to ten.xAnd here this movie, for all intents andxpurposes is not yet available to the public, has become something of an onlinexsensation, or rather an online battlefield. Over the last weeks it hasxattracted over 91,000 votes, largely split between ten- and one-star votes. Thexmajority, over 57,000, are one-star votes. This is an obviousxcampaign toxdownrate the movie which then triggered pro-Armenian voting. We are witnessingxyet another anti-Armenian denialist campaign playing out abroad, far away fromxTurkey, in open, democratic societies. While it is not clear who isxorchestrating the campaign, it has to be assumed that, as with other campaigns,xconnections go back to the Turkish government and/or nationalist groups.
    Armenian Genocide denialism has gonexthrough various phases of development in the last decades. Denialism has enteredxthe age of Twitter and online mob-rule. And, unfortunately, quite successfullyxso”, he wrote.
    BY STEFAN IHRIG -- The Turkish government has constructed a very solid and relatively successful wall of enforced silence.

    Hayastan or Bust.


    • #3
      Re: The Promise.

      Elton John presents Armenian Genocide film “The Promise” at Oscar party
      10:17, 28 Feb 2017
      Siranush Ghazanchyan

      Elton John and EJAF chairman David Furnish introduced “The Promise” at West Hollywood Park during an Oscar commercial break, The Verge reported.
      The 25th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) Academy Awards viewing party, hosted by Elton John and David Furnish at West Hollywood Park, raised $7 million to help end HIV/AIDS. To no one’s surprise, the yearly event proved to be one of the most star-studded soirées of the night,xE!Onliexreported.
      All donations on the night were matched dollar-for-dollar by Survival Pictures’ upcoming feature “The Promise” (Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac) which tells the story of the Armenian Genocide at the outset of World War I, accrding toxThe Wrap.
      Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”) directs, and was on hand to address the audience. With the film fullyxfinanced by the late businessman Kirk Kerkorian, all producer proceeds from the first dollar will be donated to organizations including the EJAF. Open Road releases the film next month.
      “Proud to introduce Open Road Films and Survival Pictures’ new film “The Promise” atx#EJAF25#KeepthePromisexSurvival Pictures will also be matching guest pledges made to EJAF via text & live auction purchases during our Academy Awards Viewing Party. Written by Terry George and Robin Swicord and directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), The Promise stars Oscar Issac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon,” reads a post on thexEJAF Facebook page.
      Hayastan or Bust.


      • #4
        Re: The Promise.

        Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has applauded creators of the Armenian Genocide filmxThe Promise.x
        “Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon, under the direction of Terry George, provide extraordinary performances in the upcoming filmxThe Promise,”xDiCaprio said in a Facebook post.
        “I applaud the entire team, together with my good friend the legendary producer Mike Medavoy, whose enduring talent, dedication and commitment brought this important project and subject to life,” teh actor added.
        Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, “The Promise” is an epic human drama about a love triangle between Michael Boghosian, a brilliant medical student played by Golden Globe winning actor Oscar Isaac, the beautiful and sophisticated Armenian artist Ana played by Charlotte le Bon, and Chris Myers, a renowned American photo-journalist covering the war played by Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale.
        The film is also supported by an impressive cast of international actors. Their relationships unfold amidst the start of the Armenian Genocide, causing major upheaval of their lives and a struggle just to survive.
        The Promisexhits theaters April 21.
        Hayastan or Bust.


        • #5
          Re: The Promise.

          Actor George Clooney and singer-songwriter Chris Cornell attended the London premiere of the Armenian genocide film The Promise.
          Chris Cornell, who composed the theme song for the film, posted a photo on Twitter.
          Elton John, Cher, Barbara Streisand, Andre Agassi, Sylvester Stalonner, Dean Cain and Leonardo DiCaprio have all expressed their support for the film.
          The Promise,” which world-premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last September, will go on wide release in the U.S. on 2,000 screens via Open Road Films on April 21.
          The roughly $100-million film is considered a breakthrough after several attempts to make a Hollywood film about the Armenian genocide failed during past decades.
          “The Promise” centers on a love story involving a medical student (Oscar Isaac), a journalist (Christian Bale), and the Armenian woman (Charlotte Le Bon) who steals their hearts. All three find themselves grappling with the Ottomans’ decision to begin rounding up and persecuting Armenians.
          Hayastan or Bust.


          • #6
            Re: The Promise.

            Armenian-American singer and actress Cher united with Armenian-American reality starsxKourtney and Kim Kardashian to support the new filmxThe Promise,xPeoplexreports.x
            The trio attended the Los Angeles premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, joining the film’sxstar,xChristian Bale,xon the red carpet.
            DirectorxTerry George’s new historical drama, also starringxOscar Isaac, focuses on the Armenian Genocide carried out by the crumbling Ottoman Empire duringxWorld War I.xAs the war drags on, the national mood gets worse and Armenian citizens become the victims of raging hate crimes.
            Following the screening, the wife of Kanye West, 36, tweeted: “So proud of the movie #ThePromise Everyone please go see it and finally hear the story of the Armenian people.”
            In April 2015, Kim and sister Khloé Kardashian traveled to Armeniaxfor eight days during which theyxpaid their respects to the Armenian Genocide Memorial in the country’s capital.xThe visit was laterxshown on their family’s E! seriesxKeeping Up with the Kardashiansxin October 2016.

            Hayastan or Bust.


            • #7
              Re: The Promise.

              What is up with all the Xs in your post Haykakan? : )
              Something is happening in cut/past
              B0zkurt Hunter


              • #8
                Re: The Promise.

                Not sure Eddo. Here is a review by some critic.

                News & Observer
                April 20 2017

                Movie review: ‘The Promise’ is too fictional a take on Armenian genocide
                By Mick LaSalle
                San Francisco Chronicle

                Horrible human tragedies – unthinkable calamities involving millions of people – dwarf everything else. If you have a movie about the Holocaust, or Stalin’s starvation of the kulaks, or, as in the case of “The Promise,” the Armenian genocide, the historical event takes precedence. It’s hard to care about fictional characters while remembering the real-life horrors experienced by actual people.
                For this reason, most of the great films depicting the Holocaust have been based on true stories: “Europa, Europa,” “Schindler’s List,” “The Hiding Place,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “The Pianist.” There are exceptions (“Son Of Saul”), but the slant toward truth-based stories has been real and necessary. To take the most unimaginable human suffering and combine it with the standard conventions of movie fiction somehow feels discordant, at best; and at worst, grotesque.
                “The Promise” is hardly grotesque; and it has good things in it, but by the end, it just feels like a failed manipulation. The reality that it’s trying to present and make us feel – the Ottoman government’s murder of 1.5 million Armenians in the 1910s – remains what it was before, a ghastly fact. The movie doesn’t activate that event through drama, even as our awareness of history keeps us at some distance from the struggles of the fictional characters.
                Chalk it up as a respectable attempt. The movie is written and directed by Terry George, who knows his way around political upheaval and sectarian violence. He wrote and directed “Hotel Rwanda” and wrote several screenplays about Northern Ireland’s troubles, including “In the Name of the Father.” For “The Promise” he sets up a fairly interesting situation that might have made for a decent movie set in peacetime.
                Oscar Isaac plays an ambitious young pharmacist, working in a tiny Armenian town. He wants to become a doctor, so he becomes engaged to a perfectly nice woman that he does not love, so he can use the dowry to go to medical school in Istanbul. He meets a young teacher (Charlotte Le Bon), and he likes her and she likes him. In fact, she is beginning to like him better than her American boyfriend, a swashbuckling, courageous and somewhat alcoholic journalistic (Christian Bale).

                So we have two love triangles. The medical student really wants to blow up the engagement and be with his new love, but no, he made a promise. And then, just as we have completely forgotten all about politics, the Turks enter World War I. With that, the Armenians are immediately under siege. All the young men are drafted and sent to work as slave labor. Towns are pillaged, people are systematically executed. It is carnage, death and real historical calamity . . . And with that in mind, how much do you really care which one of these two women ends up in bed with Oscar Isaac?
                Yes, there are some well-made scenes: The medical student escapes from slave labor, dives on top of a train, only to realize that he’s riding on a boxcar filled with Armenians being sent to their doom. As lightning flashes and thunder crashes, he struggles to break the lock on a boxcar, and just as he does, he falls off the train. Fortunately, this happens just as the train is going over a bridge, so he falls into a body of water . . . And so on. Just like in a movie.
                Basically, there was a calculation here that didn’t pan out. The idea was that history would add importance to the fictional story, and the fictional story would add drama to the history. Instead, the opposite happened: The historical context renders the fictional story trivial, while the fictional story keeps the audience removed from the history. We end up with an unimportant movie about important events.
                The Promise

                Cast: Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon
                Director: Terry George
                Length: 132 minutes
                Rating: PG-13 (thematic material including war atrocities, violence and disturbing images, some sexuality)

                Raleigh: North Hills, AMC 15, Brier Creek, Wakefield, Grande, Six Forks. Cary: Parkside, Cinebistro. Holly Springs: AMC Dine-In. Morrisville: Park West. Garner: White Oak. Apex: Beaver Creek. Durham: Southpoint, AMC Classic. Chapel Hill: Silverspot, Timberlyne, Lumina.

                Read more here:
                Hayastan or Bust.


                • #9
                  Re: The Promise.

                  For the last 1 hour now, Yahoo's front page header article "Christian Bale's $100M movie set to flop".
                  Since when a movie takes such an importance to be the main headline PREDICTION before it is in theaters?
                  Special interest at work.


                  • #10
                    Re: The Promise.

                    Watched the Promise yesterday. It is a very well made movie that needs to be watched. It was not too gory and did a good job of telling some of the important parts of our story. The acting was very good. I took my family(including my 12 year old son) and our American neighbors to see it. I live a half hour from the Armenian community here and the theater was mostly empty at this showing. Most of the people that were there were older then even me. I strongly suggest you see this movie and make up your own mind about it instead of listening to the critics. One of the things that I liked and did not expect was how it showed that a few Turks did help save some Armenians despite the very real danger of doing so. I knew I did the right thing by taking my boy as he started talking about it, asking questions and had a emotional response. It is good to finally see a good quality film that deals with some of the topic of the Armenian Genocide. Thank you Kirk Kirkorian for making this movie.
                    Hayastan or Bust.