A Somewhat Gentle Man Trailer: Stellan Skarsgård Tries to Play Nice with the Mob
It seems like the Gangster-comedy sub-genre should be scraping the bottom of a dry well by now, but they just keep coming! And while A Somewhat Gentle Man indeed looks like rehash of dark comedy we've seen before, the fact that character actor and Lars Von Trier regular Stellan Skarsgård (Breaking the Waves, Mamma Mia!) plays the lead offers hop that maybe this Norwegian import has more to offer than the trailer suggests.
The plot concerns a gangster (Skarsgård) who is welcomed with open arms by his old boss after a long stint in prison. Only, Skarsgård would rather open his own legal business than get involved with crime again, though it seems like he has a hard time articulating the sentiment. While the trailer dabbles some in the comedic-violence associated with the genre, the humor here looks mostly low-key, deadpan and very European. There are two jokes about awkward hugs in this preview alone.
Despite the breezy, somewhat slight tone, Skarsgård's face evokes such rich emotion that I'm hoping for more layers than the trailer hints at, especially since he won an stateside acting award for the film at Fantastic Fest. If the film channels Mafioso as opposed to Analyze This, A Somewhat Gentle Man could provide some much-needed counter-programming during the upcoming January dumping ground. Here's hoping.
Verdict: Stellan, don't fail us now!