Ava DuVernay returns with “Origin,” a sprawling drama that critics have hailed as the director’s most ambitious and accomplished movie. Those reviews have yet to turn the film into an awards season juggernaut — it was shut out of the Globes, AFI and other early awards — but admirers of “Origin” hope that it will eventually find its footing with Oscars voters. Neon, the indie label behind “Parasite” and “I, Tonya,” is releasing the film in theaters on Jan. 19. It had a small qualifying run last weekend.
“Origin” is an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed best-seller “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” It follows the author as she endures personal grief while investigating the global phenomenon of caste and the way it warps societies and sows division and hatred. The trailer gives a hint at the way the film ties together these different strands, showing scenes of a Nazi rally and intercutting them with images of India and modern day America (a Trump “Make America Great Again” hat is featured prominently).
Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, the Oscar-nominated star of “King Richard,” leads an ensemble cast that includes Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash-Betts Emily Yancy, Finn Wittrock, Victoria Pedretti, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Isha Carlos Blaaker, Vera Farmiga, Audra Mcdonald, Connie Nielsen, Blair Underwood, Nick Offerman, Stephanie March and Myles Frost.
DuVernay is the Oscar-nominated director of “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time.” She also directed the Netflix mini-series “When They See Us,” as well as the documentary “13th.”
Here’s a first look at the new trailer for “Origin”: