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My mom has always said that the movie trailers are the best part about going to the movie theater. Sounds a bit weird but think about it: fresh popcorn resting in your lap while you try to figure out what preview is playing next, the screen is glowing, the music reaches a crescendo, and your favorite actor graces the screen before a title card is shown. “We definitely need to go see that,” is often said out loud as the audience adjusts to the next transition. Movie trailers are an underappreciated art. Here are 9 of my personal favorites.

Waves (2019) dir. Trey Edward Shults

Waves, from movie studio A24, starring Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Alexa Demie, and Renée Elise Goldsberry follows a father attempting to keep his family afloat in suburban Orlando. This trailer packs an astounding emotional punch accompanied by Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed” and sweeping scenery of the film’s beach setting. Not to mention, Sterling K. Brown starting off the journey by saying “Love is patient, love is kind…” is pretty powerful every time.

Dumplin’ (2018) Dir. Anne Fletcher

This glittery and inspiring trailer for Dumplin’ from Netflix starring Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston features a former pageant queen going through pageant season with her strong-willed daughter, Willowdean, who plans on changing all the rules. Not only are the uses of “9 to 5″ and Here You Come Again (Dumplin’ Remix)” by Dolly Parton expertly crafted into this small town tale but my personal favorite part is the graphic that flashes between scenes that proclaims: “Be a diamond in a rhinestone world.”

Cinderella (2015) Dir. KEnneth Branagh

This Disney remake of the beloved film that realized Lily James as a star has a trailer that is supremely magical. We get the childhood flashbacks, beautiful cinematography, and includes shots such as the Evil Stepmother (played by Cate Blanchett) sneakily holding up a glass slipper that are sure to give you goosebumps.

The Florida project (2017) dir. Sean baker

Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, another gem from A24, gives us a glimpse into the life of precocious 7-year-old Moonee living in the shadow of Disney World in a hotel called The Magic Castle, her single mother, her best friends, and the hotel manager. Florida Project’s trailer includes “Make a Noise” by Katie Herzig, one of my favorite artists. It also lends to the audience a peek into the film’s incredible acting performances like Billy’s (Willem Dafoe) “I love you, too” exchange at the very end.

Little Women (2019) dir. Greta gerwig

A retelling of a classic story with an absolutely star-studded cast already sounds pretty perfect but it’s Little Women’s trailer that really hits the mark. There’s the rousing music after Jo (Saoirse Ronan) hits Laurie (Timothée Chalamet) in the arm which happens to be another Katie Herzig song, “Wasting Time.” As well as dazzling showstoppers like Jo March’s “women” monologue soundbite over shots of the various characters. If you don’t want to go watch this movie instantly after seeing the trailer, I don’t know what you’re doing.

if beale street could talk (2018) dir. barry jenkins

The most perfect trailer, in my opinion. Set against the backdrop of a delicious score, this adaptation of the James Baldwin novel about a woman trying to prove the innocence of her child’s father seeks to pull at the viewer’s heartstrings like there’s no tomorrow. My personal favorite things from this trailer include Regina King’s stunning delivery in the “You trusted love this far…trust it all the way” voiceover and the shot of Tish (KiKi Layne) standing in the street under the sun, breathing it all in.

room (2015) dir. Lenny Abrahamson

Surprise, another A24 trailer! I’ve noticed that I like emotional trailers and Room is certainly no exception. Joy’s (Brie Larson) harrowing journey attempting to get her and her son out of their kidnapper’s clutches and their lives in the aftermath is a work of art. I may sound like a broken record here but music really does make or break a trailer and this trailer’s use of This May Destroy You’s “The Mighty Rio Grande” to illustrate a rebirth of the characters always gets me near tears.

the secret life of walter mitty (2013) dir. ben stiller

“Dirty Paws” from Of Monsters and Men? The. Most. Stunning. Shots. Of just about every picturesque scene of a sunset, snow covered ground, roaring ocean, etc. you can think of? Check! This trailer captured my heart the moment I saw it in theaters, and I still rewatch it all the time. The story captures Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), a photojournalist and daydreamer about to embark on an incredible journey and I feel like I am coming right along.

What are some of your favorite movie trailers?

Sydney Bishop is a third year Journalism major at UGA who knows way too much about pop culture and can take a nap anywhere.
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