THE COUNSELLOR (18)

WHO’S IN IT?

Michael Fassbender (Shame), Penélope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona), Cameron Diaz (There’s Something About Mary), Javier Bardem (Skyfall), Brad Pitt (Fight Club), Rosie Pérez (Pineapple Express), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Natalie Dormer (Rush), Édgar Ramírez (Zero Dark Thirty), Bruno Ganz (Downfall), John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2), Goran Višnjić (Beginners), Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla), Benedict Wong (Hummingbird)

WHO’S BEHIND THE CAMERA?

Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), director, producer; Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men), writer; Paula Mae Schwartz (The Road), Steve Schwartz (Killing Them Softly) and Nick Wechsler (The Time Traveller’s Wife), producers; Daniel Pemberton (The Awakening), composer; Dariusz Wolski (Pirates of the Caribbean), cinematographer; Pietro Scalia (Black Hawk Down), editor

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

A lawyer, known only as The Counsellor (Fassbender), allows his greed to get the best of him when he dives into the dark world of drug trafficking, but soon finds himself way over his head when he crosses paths with dangerous couple Reiner and Malkina (Bardem and Diaz) and seedy middleman Westray (Pitt), who put him and girlfriend Laura (Cruz) in danger…

WHY SHOULD YOU BE EXCITED?

It might not seem like it, but there’s just one aspect of The Counsellor that gives it the ultimate power to arouse interest from audiences.

It’s not that the movie is directed by Ridley Scott, one of the industry’s most popular directors with films like Blade Runner, Gladiator and Alien under his belt. It’s not even down to its sizeable cast of A-list talent, from Michael Fassbender to Brad Pitt to Cameron Diaz to real-life couple Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. However both, perhaps more so the latter, are definite factors to get people hyped for this new film, make no mistake about that.

In fact, the real reason to get excited is because of its writer. Cormac McCarthy is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright whose line of novels includes No Country For Old Men, The Road and All The Pretty Horses, all of which were adapted into highly-praised movies in their own right. The Counsellor prides itself in being McCarthy’s first major original screenplay and his first since 1976’s The Gardener’s Son which was used for an episode of the 1977 PBS drama Visions. His latest script, meanwhile, is his first one written for direct use on the big screen and it seems like the American writer struck gold by earning himself a powerful director and a starry ensemble cast.

Bardem, in particular, returns to McCarthy’s universe after his Oscar-winning turn in the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men adaptation, and yet still gets saddled with a bizarre haircut. The ones to look out for, other than Pitt in a smaller but poignant role and Bardem’s other half Cruz as a naïve girlfriend, are Fassbender as the man-with-no-name of the title and Diaz in an against-type role as a sociopathic woman with a dark wrath up her sleeve.

How everything pays off on-screen as per McCarthy’s tense screenplay is currently unknown, and the answers can only be revealed if you go out of your way to see The Counsellor on the big screen. Come for the big-name actors and director, stay for the powerful and precise words of Cormac McCarthy leaping off the screen.

WHEN’S IT OUT?

FRIDAY 15TH NOVEMBER 2013

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