Following the loss of his father, Andy (Tye Sheridan) is looking for some sort of purpose and connection in the new movie The Mountain, written and directed by Rick Alverson. One day he crosses paths with Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum), a lobotomist who once new Andy’s mother years ago.
Dr. Fiennes hires Andy as a photographer to document his practice as he travels around the country performing a procedure that is on its way out as a preferred treatment for mental and psychological problems in the 1950s. That involves documenting Fiennes’ patients and learning their stories, making this an even more emotional journey for Andy than he anticipated, especially when Andy becomes involved with Susan (Hannah Gross), a young woman they encounter along the way.
On the poster the movie is described as “A psychsurgical” odyssey,” which is a new one for me. The washed out colors used to show photos of Andy and Dr. Fiennes combined with the way those photos are repeated into the background do add a sense of it being a trippy drama.
As the trailer begins Andy is interviewing for a position with Dr. Fiennes, hoping to take pictures of the doctor’s work and patients as he travels around performing his procedures. What exactly those procedures are is unclear, but it’s something that changes people in some way Andy still isn’t comfortable with. The two are shown as having some form of deeper connection, but that’s also an element of the story that remains vague in what’s shown here.
Online and Social
There isn’t a whole lot of information on Kino Lorber’s page for the movie, just the basic marketing materials along with a list of locations and dates it’s opening at and on in the coming weeks.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing on this front that I’ve seen.
Media and Publicity
The movie was among those slated to appear at the Venice International Film Festival, appearing on many critics’ “most anticipated” lists. A first look still from the movie was released at the same time it was announced it would be screening at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It was picked up at the festival by Kino Lorber.
Goldblum, Alverson and Sheridan did a few Q&A appearances in New York and L.A. accompanied by screenings, but that’s about it since then.
For all the anticipation and buzz the movie had going into the most recent festival season, things have been remarkably quiet in the weeks leading up to release. Those select Q&As with the cast and crew have been it and those don’t appear to have generated any substantial press push in the build up to this week.
That’s disappointing since not only do the performances look uniformly wonderful but the story looks like one of those original takes that has the potential to be dramatic and unsettling, a far cry from how many modern movies are thrilling but comfortable. This minimal campaign isn’t going to move the needle on awareness at all and the movie as a whole is likely to go by as barely a blip that registers.
Picking Up the Spare
Goldblum appeared on “The Late Show” to keep feeding our collective appreciation for this eccentric talent. How Goldblum’s character weaves in and out of the story was covered by Alverson in this interview.