Paul Bettany has been able to carve out a second wave in his career thanks to a much-needed boost from Marvel. But in the years since he put on red face make-up and a yellow cape, Bettany hasn’t really gotten a chance to showcase his long-dormant leading man talents. But Bettany finally gets a leading-man vehicle he deserves in Uncle Frank, an LGBTQ dramedy from American Beauty writer Alan Ball. Watch the Uncle Frank trailer below.
Uncle Frank Trailer
Bettany is the titular Uncle Frank in Ball’s LGBTQ dramedy that follows a teenaged Beth (Sophia Lillis) who leaves her rural Southern hometown to visit her beloved uncle in New York City. There, she discovers that Frank is gay and living with his longtime partner Wally (Peter Macdissi). A family tragedy brings them both home, with Frank reluctantly returning to the hometown he sought to flee.
Uncle Frank made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was met with positive reviews and picked up for distribution by Amazon Studios. The film already has built up some interest, coming from writer-director Alan Ball, who won an Oscar for his American Beauty screenplay and created Six Feet Under and True Blood. But I have to admit, as someone with a longtime crush on Bettany, I’m happy to see him allowed a meaty role that he can chew on. Lillis impressed me in It and Sharp Objects as well, and appears to give a nice grounded performance in Uncle Frank, if with a bit of a shaky accent. The balance of comedy and drama, as well as the classic structure of a road trip movie, makes Uncle Frank seem like a promising watch.
Also starring in Uncle Frank are Steve Zahn, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale, and Stephen Root.
Here is the synopsis for Uncle Frank:
In 1973, teenaged Beth Bledsoe (Sophia Lillis) leaves her rural Southern hometown to study at New York University where her beloved Uncle Frank (Paul Bettany) is a revered literature professor. She soon discovers that Frank is gay, and living with his longtime partner Walid “Wally” Nadeem (Peter Macdissi) — an arrangement that he has kept secret for years. After the sudden death of Frank’s father — Beth’s grandfather — Frank is forced to reluctantly return home for the funeral with Beth in tow, and to finally face a long-buried trauma that he has spent his entire adult life running away from.
Uncle Frank is scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on November 26, 2020.
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