Denzel Washington is an even-keeled, no-nonsense criminal defense attorney in the trailer for Sony’s legal thriller “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
“Sorry for taking a nano-second off you assembly line rubber-stamp existence,” he tells off another attorney, without raising his voice.
At another point, an associate discusses a plea bargain with him over the phone, saying, “Voluntary manslaughter. It’s a good deal.” He responds: “It’s an enema of sunshine.”
The trailer, released Thursday, sets up the premise of Washington’s character operating in the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system as a disillusioned defense attorney. He infers that he’s being let go from his job after being told, “This firm has run at a deficit for years.”
So he’s recruited to an upscale film by Colin Farrell, who co-stars as an ambitious lawyer and explains his decision by saying, “I’m tired of doing the impossible for the ungrateful.”
Sony premiered the film at the Toronto Film Festival and has positioned it for awards season contention with a Nov. 3 release date. Washington has won Oscars for “Glory” and “Training Day.” He has seven nominations, including one for last year’s “Fences.”
Dan Gilroy directed from his own script. The cast also includes Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, Hugo Armstrong, Sam Gilroy, Tony Plana, DeRon Horton, and Amari Cheatom.
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote in his review, “Roman is a fantastic character, and Washington’s high-wire performance is one of his most daring and compelling.”