Before the spectacular Elizabethtown flame-out (but dude! What a soundtrack), Cameron was nearly perfect as a director. He’d given us brilliant coming-of-age films for high-school, our 20s, and our 30s, with a bit of football and grunge mixed in between (I do understand I’m also in the minority on Vanilla Sky, but I loved even that film and that fantastic Beach Boys elevator sequence). He had combined his own personal experiences, a terrific love of great music, and that Billy Wilder brand of hope and romance into these brilliant films about troubled sensitive guys and dare to be great situations. That’s kind of what Crowe is: An earnest, dare-to-be-great filmmaker, a guy not afraid to express insecurity or take a risk on a line that might be perceived by some as corny but by others as romantic. He is an effusive filmmaker; that motherfucker goes for it, even if it means falling on his face.
Crowe’s next, We Bought a Zoo, moves the director into parenting territory (moreso than Jerry Maguire at least). He and Aline Brosh McKenna have adapted the novel, We Bought a Zoo and brought aboard Matt Damon to star a single father who wants to give his children the “authentic American experience.” So, they move into a zoo. Naturally.
The trailer is below, and it seems to suggest that — after a very long hiatus — Crowe has once again found his footing. It looks outstanding, with heart seeping out of the sleeves.