Don't let "Killing Them Softly" get lost in the throng of year-end prestige releases. The new film, from year-end specialists The Weinstein Company, is out on Nov. 30 and has received strong reviews since its bow at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It also stars Brad Pitt and at least three former cast members from "The Sopranos."
Based on the 1974 crime novel "Cogan's Trade" by George V. Higgins, "Killing Them Softly" focuses on a hitman (Pitt) hired to dispose of a few small-time crooks after they rob a local poker game. James Gandolfini plays one of Pitt's onscreen associates, while Vincent Curatola -- better known to "Sopranos" fans as Johnny Sack -- appears in the film (and this new trailer) as well. A third former "Sopranos" co-star, Max Casella, is listed on the "Killing Them Softly" IMDb page.
Despite the fact that Higgins' novel takes place in the '70s, director Andrew Dominik ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford") has updated the proceedings to modern times. As previously reported by Indiewire's blog The Playlist, the film begins with an excerpt from Barack Obama's 2008 Democratic Convention speech: "What is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect."
As such, "Killing Them Softly" is about more than just your average, run-of-the-mill mafioso; as Pitt says to Richard Jenkins at the end of the clip, "I'm living in America. America's not a country, it's just a business."
"Killing Them Softly" was originally set for release in September and then October. The Weinstein Company finally settled on Nov. 30 to spring the Pitt film on audiences, hoping to take advantage of the post-Thanksgiving lull on the release calendar.