Sean Baker, the award-winning director behind The Florida Project and Tangerine, is getting ready to unveil his latest feature film, Red Rocket. A24 has just released the first trailer for the dark comedy, which you can watch below.
Red Rocket tells the story of washed-up porn star Mikey Saber, played by Simon Rex, as he decides to return to his small hometown of Texas City, Texas, a Gulf Coast city in Galveston County. While it’s clear that nobody wants him to come back, Saber makes the most of his journey by trying to reconnect with old friends, make amends with his foes, and even pursue a new relationship.
In the trailer, we see Saber putting on his best smile and flexing his porn star muscles while roaming about the dusty Texas town. After trying to land a job and convince his wife to let him crash at her house, he starts roaming around on a bicycle, stumbles into a different neighboring town, and meets a donut cashier name Strawberry that he quickly falls for. From there, things start to spiral out of control, but that doesn’t dampen Saber’s optimism — and, knowing Baker’s way with words, that sunny defiance will probably aim straight for the viewer’s heart.
Joining Rex in Red Rocket‘s ensemble cast are Bree Elrod, Brenda Deiss, Ethan Darbone, Brittney Rodriguez, and Judy Hill. Behind the scenes, Baker wrote the script with longtime collaborator Chris Bergoch and produced the film alongside Samantha Quan, Alex Saks, Alex Coco, and Shih-Ching Tsou.
Consequence writer Jesse Hassenger got to watch Red Rocket at New York Film Festival last week. In his A- movie review, he praised its portrayal of humanity, writing, “Baker has moved from child characters to a man who’s intensely childlike, in both his selfishness and his deluded optimism. If anything, that makes the new film more rewarding… He has a rare gift for observing characters in marginal or dire economic circumstances with warmth and humor, getting laughs from their foibles that don’t feel cruel or dismissive.”
If that hasn’t convinced you to see Red Rocket, then it’s worth mentioning that when the film made its world premiere at Cannes, it won both the Critics Award and the Jury Prize in Deauville. So mark your movie calendars; Red Rocket will hit select theaters on December 3rd.