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First Trailer for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk shows Ang Lee’s masterful hand

Here we go! The first trailer for Ang Lee’s adaptation of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk has hit the net. I’ve heard so much about the ultra-high rate Lee shot some of the sequences in, I was nervous about how the movie would play out. If the entire feature is anything like the teaser trailer it’s going to be spectacular, moving and fierce, doing full justice to its equally fantastic source material, the novel by Ben Fountain. Ang Lee’s Life of Pi was beautiful, his Brokeback Mountain was brave. This is a director who fully commits heart and soul. His first stroke of brilliance, casting newcomer Joe Alwyn in the role of Billy. The story is told from his perspective, that of a 19 year old private who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, is celebrated in a Victory tour after undergoing a horrific battle in Iraq. Using flashbacks, we see the real story of the battle as the tour culminates at a spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day game. The squad are used as puppets to promote a patriotic response to the nasty business of war. And for the Kristen Stewart fans, surely her top billing indicates an enlarged role than the part—pivotal but brief—that Billy’s sister plays in the book. On the other hand, it may just be her unquestioned star power at the moment. Joe Alwyn, a fresh discovery from director Ang Lee certainly looks like Lee made a great call. He seems as fresh, vulnerable and on the verge of real adulthood and understanding as Billy Lynn himself.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk opens November 11th and stars Kristen Stewart, Vin Deisel, Garret Hedlund, CHris Tucker, Steve Martin, Deirdre Lovejoy and introduces Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn.