Pattinson plays photographer Dennis Stock opposite actor Dane DeHaan, who plays Dean.
Dean was an up-and-coming actor in 1955, when he met Stock, who was a photographer for Life. The photo magazine was to mid-20th century America what the Internet is today.
Dean had just finished filming “East of Eden,” the movie that would make him a star. But he was reeling from the pressures. His studio was leaning on him to help promote the movie.
Instead, he recoils and flees to his family farm in Indiana. Stock follows, leading to a relationship that produces a series of iconic photos. Shot mostly in New York City and on the farm, stock’s photo essay captured Dean’s angst and haunting look.
The images spoke to a generation of teens also coming of age in very difficult times. Dean would go on to make two more movies before being killed in a high-speed car crash.
The trailer is a brief clip of Dean and Stock in New York City. Stock is trying to convince the young actor that the photos would make him a star.
“I don’t want to play this stupid game,” a reluctant Dean says.
“You don’t have to,” pleads Stock. Pattinson musters his best Brooklyn accent to play the character.
“Just let me help you. I got 30 million people reading Life magazine. We do a great shoot and none of this really matters.”
Dean is hesitant, but finally agrees to take Stock to his favorite place in the city. “Ok,” he says, “but you won’t like it.”
Pattinson attended a photo call to talk about the movie wearing a heavy beard and his trademark tousled hair. He was casually dressed in a black crew-neck sweater and gray jacket.
Then, he shocked attendees when he returned a few hours later for the screening. He was wearing a black overcoat and a natty, double-breasted grey suit, maroon tie and white shirt. He looked more like a distracted Oxford Don rather than an actor.
“Life” will be released Sept. 25.
At least one critic who attended the screening was less than impressed by the movie, and Pattinson’s acting. Wrote the UK Guardian’s critic Peter Bradshaw:
“Sadly, Pattinson’s natural style and charisma is suppressed, perhaps because Dean is supposed to be the charismatic one, but we are given little or nothing to show Stock’s watchful, non-starry ordinariness. It’s a frankly flat and unengaged performance from Pattinson, and there is no real tension or chemistry between the two men.”
Like most Pattinson fans, Bradshaw wonders aloud whether Pattinson would have been more intriguing as Dean. “I even found myself wondering if DeHaan and Pattinson could not somehow change and change about in the course of the film,” he wrote.
Check out the clip below and Pattinson’s photographs from the festival. Let us know your thoughts and follow IM on Twitter for the latest movie news.
Footnote: Sound doesn’t start on the clip until about 33 seconds in.