For the past few years, Robert Downey Jr. has been so entrenched in the world of high concept franchise movies that you almost don't know what he looks like outside of the "Iron Man" armor or "Sherlock Holmes'" deerstalker hat. (No one is counting "Due Date" or his cameo in "Chef," sorry.) So the fact that he has a big movie opening this fall, and that big movie is not a franchise picture but rather a small-scale dramatic thriller, well, it's certainly something to get excited about. And after you see the brand new trailer, you'll be excited to.
The trailer for Downey's new movie "The Judge" was debuted on his twitter account (yes, apparently Iron Man tweets), with Downey explaining, "This is the kind of movie I grew up wanting to make. Only took 49 years. Enjoy." Awww. In the movie Downey plays a successful lawyer who returns to his pastoral home town after his mother dies, but while he is there is forced to defend his father, the town's popular judge (played by Robert Duvall) for murdering his mother. Wow. Talk about daddy issues.
Judging (see what we did there?) by the trailer, the movie seems to be a sunny, possibly melodramatic story of how a father and son can reconnect under the most trying circumstances, and has a nifty legal thriller framing device in order to accomplish that. The supporting cast is unimpeachable, with Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio and Billy Bob Thorton lending back-up, and the movie looks gorgeous, thanks to the glittery cinematography of Steven Spielberg regular Janusz Kaminski. (Keep in mind this was directed by "Wedding Crashers" director David Dobkin, so there will undoubtedly be some funny moments too.)
Given the amount of crying that Downey Jr. does in the trailer, people are already whispering about his Oscar chances, although the last time he was uttered in the same breathe as the Academy Awards, the movie turned out to be "The Soloist." So while "The Judge" will probably be super entertaining, it might not go all the way. But hey, at least it's not an "Iron Man" or "Sherlock Holmes" movie.