How many feature-length dramatizations of Barack Obama's life do we need before the President's eight-year tenure is over? Hopefully your answer was "two." By the time a newly elected Commander-in-Chief steps in, we'll have Southside with You, which turned the courtship of Barack and Michelle into a existential tour of Chicago, and Barry, an original movie picked up by Netflix out of this year's Toronto Film Festival. With the end of the year filling up with Oscar contenders, the streaming service is squeezing the new look at our sitting President in before the deadline. Barry arrives December 16.
The first trailer for Barry, sliding into the third presidential debate aftermath like a smooth operator, shows a younger Barack "before he created change" i.e., while he was doing his thing at Columbia University in 1981. Newcomer Devon Terrell plays the future president, with Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy), Jenna Elfman (Friends with Benefits), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), and Avi Nash (Silicon Valley) rounding out the cast. Here's the official synopsis:
In a crime-ridden and racially charged environment, Barry finds himself pulled between various social spheres and struggles to maintain a series of increasingly strained relationships with his Kansas-born mother, his estranged Kenyan father, and his classmates.Barry is the story of a young man grappling with those same issues that his country, and arguably the world, are still coming to terms with 35 years later.
Reviews out of Toronto Film Festival were highly positive. In September, The Guardian wrote, "The movie is rich on its own as a character piece about the difficulties of being bi-racial ... its final scene, one of the more perfect in a film this year, settles on something Barry-soon-to-be-Barack will be very familiar with: hope."