Camp X-Ray is the feature-length debut for writer/director Peter Sattler. The contemporary and timely drama follows Private Amy Cole (Kristen Stewart) during her stint at Guantanamo Bay. While stationed at the notorious war prison she meets Ali Amir who is played by Payman Moaadi. The Iranian-American actor absolutely astounded audiences in 2011's A Separation, which was only his second acting gig at the time. This will no doubt prove to be another magnetizing performance by Moaadi, but the more interesting casting choice is America's (least?) favorite darling, Kristen Stewart.
Since the Twilight saga her co-star and former lover Robert Pattinson has been desperately attempting to right the course of his career, tackling one interesting project with one establish filmmaker after another. His work in this year's The Rover absolutely floored me. While Kristen Stewart doesn't show a wide range of emotions (or facial expressions rather) in this first look at Camp X-Ray, it's safe to say that it already looks better on her resume than anything else I've seen her in. (Okay, except maybe Jenny Lewis' new music video, which I've jammed out to more times than I'll admit here.) Stewart's moody demeanor feels much more at home as a female soldier. Now if only Taylor Lautner did something interesting with his career, then we will have seen everything.
The trailer itself is a promising glimpse into a realistic wartime drama. I get The Hurt Locker vibes and cannot help but think of Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure, which are wonderful touchstones to hearken. The film is shot by James Laxton who has been rising up in the American independent scene and lends a touch to the aesthetic that films somewhere between steady and loose, controlled in any case. What do you think of this first trailer for Camp X-Ray? It was met with praise at Sundance but had almost slid off my radar until today.
Camp X-Ray enters select cities on October 17th.