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Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac Are Romantic Rivals in ‘The Promise’ Trailer

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Imagine that both handsome, rakish doctor Oscar Isaac and well-to-do bearded reporter Christian Bale are fighting for your hand in marriage. With two such dashing suitors fawning over you, it’d take something huge to spoil it, something like… a genocide. The new trailer for historical romance drama The Promise has all that and more, featuring a tortured courtship with nothing less than the epic sweep of militaristic annihilation for a backdrop. That, and Isaac’s handsome, permanently-stubbled face. In the parlance of Hollywood executives, that makes this a “four quadrant” picture.

Isaac plays Michael, a village-raised Armenian boy eagerly traveling to the bustling hub of Constantinople to begin his medical studies in the early 20th century. There he quickly befriends an American reporter for the Associated Press named Christopher, played by Bale. Though the two share a close kinship, Michael can’t keep his eyes off of Christopher’s blushing bride-to-be Ana (Charlotte Le Bon). As a romantic rivalry breaks out between the two of them, political tensions in Armenia reach a fever pitch and the unspeakable inhumanities of the genocide are ignited. Rich with tragedy and triumph, the film follows Isaac’s character through the horrors of the concentration camps and towards one desperate attempt at freedom.

This weighty premise falls right in the wheelhouse of writer-director Terry George, who once drew accolades and Oscar favor with another depiction of genocide, 2004’s Hotel Rwanda. There wasn’t too much buzz out of the premiere back at the Toronto International Film Festival, but the trailer seems to hit all the right notes of heartbreak and inspiration. The film comes to theaters April 21, at which point we’ll know for sure.

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