‘The Tender Bar’ trailer: is this Ben Affleck’s best awards-bait in years?

Ceremonial opening of the Sixth Senedd

The Tender Bar has already made it to film festivals, and I was just starting to hear some good things. I thought the story was going to be very depressing, but then I learned that it’s actually a coming-of-age story and is pretty heart-warming. Critics are talking about how this could actually be awards-bait for George Clooney (as director) and Ben Affleck. Well… the trailer has come out and yes to all of that. I can totally see Ben Affleck not only getting tons of awards nominations for this role, but winning some too. Here’s the trailer:

This is the true story, based on J. R. Moehringer’s memoir of the same name, about being raised in working class Long Island in the 1970s and 1980s by his single mother and bartender uncle. Christopher Lloyd, Lily Rabe, Daniel Ranieri and Tye Sheridan make up the rest of the cast. But holy sh-t, this looks like the Affleck show and that’s a good thing. Why is it that after all of these years, Ben is so good at playing working class characters? Those characters are his wheelhouse, completely. And yes, the trailer made me tear up, so I’m assuming this will be a kind, sweet crowd-pleaser for everyone. Remember The Blind Side? This could be Affleck’s Blind Side.

(And yes, I’m being selfish – I desperately want Awards-Show Bennifer on every red carpet this awards season. Is that too much to ask??)

the tender bar poster

Amazon Studios Presents Los Angeles Premiere Of "The Tender Bar" - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Amazon Prime.

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40 Responses to “‘The Tender Bar’ trailer: is this Ben Affleck’s best awards-bait in years?”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    It looks good. People forget he can actually act and his best works, both as a director and actor, have always focused on working class folks. He went to high school with a very, very broad range of people in the Cambridge public schools

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      CRLS represent!!

    • Becks1 says:

      I think he’s a really good director – the Town, Gone Baby Gone and Argo were all really excellent films (I know he’s directed more, but those are the ones where I was like, wait, Affleck is good at this. Now I’m not surprised he’s good at it.)

    • local russian hill says:

      many years ago i read the book. amazing book. read it if you can.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Yes. Read it years ago – really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the movie. Trailer looks good and Ben is a good casting choice for the role.

      • Carolnr says:

        It looks like a good movie. Ben seems to shine in lower budget films…I could also see his brother, Casey in this film….

    • Isabella says:

      Ben is very good when he works in an ensemble. I’m loving this, including the Paul Simon song. And I do want the Bennifer red carpet. A whole awards season of that. God, make it happen. We had a hard year.

  2. Tiffany says:

    William Manohan is no slouch either so this might actually be a contender.

    I honestly think Clooney’s best direction is Good Night and Good Luck. This might get him back into the think of things.

    • searchlight soul says:

      Good Night and Good Luck was/is an overlooked gem. Clooney did an excellent job directing and with the supporting part he portrayed. David Strathairn was epic as Edward R Murrow.

      Definitely going to check out this movie. It’s been a long time since I said that about *anything* Affleck did, but he looks great in this.

      • Tiffany says:

        Yes it is. It was a tight 90 minutes and he used all of them wisely.

      • Becks1 says:

        That’s one of my favorite movies, it really is so overlooked.

        I remember that was the year Clooney won best supporting actor for Syriana and his opening line of his speech was “so I guess I’m not getting director” lol. I can’t remember who he was up against in that category, but I think that movie was excellent.

      • Tiffany says:

        It was up against Brokeback Mountain, Capote and unfortunately Crash.

        I still remember gasping when Crash won Best Picture.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I have watched GoodNight and Good Luck at least 5 times! I love movies based on real people, people of substance and Murrow had it. Clooney directed a story that was brilliantly put together with a stellar cast. I have always had a soft spot for David Stathairn since Sneakers!!

      As for Affleck, Argo was exceptional too!! I love that movie as well.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Love Sneakers too! David Strathairn is so good. One of my number of favorite movie scenes is with him & Holly Hunter near the end of The Firm. Argo is also a favorite.

        I’m going to reread The Tender Bar with the movie coming out.

  3. H says:

    This is a movie I can totally get behind for awards season. Clooney can be a good director given the right material and Ben needs to go back to his roots when he was acting and not just showing up for a paycheck (i.e. Justice League). I’ll be watching it.

  4. Kate says:

    It has a rotten score on RT. Not happening…

    • Noki says:

      Rotten Tomatoes i learned a lonG time ago to not take that place seriously.

    • Noki says:

      @Kate are these the real ‘respectable’ movie critics or anyone with an opinion and internet connection.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @Noki, right! Some are from non qualified RT official reviewers. When it came out that Moehringer was ghost writing Prince Harry’s memoir-I bet myself that The Tender Bar would be panned over the pond(some probably haven’t even seen it like royal experts commenting on an interview before it aired) because it’s how they work(I now owe myself something).
        The Independent and Daily Telegraph liked it though as did Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.
        We’ll see what happens.
        Really liked the book and the trailer looks good to me.

    • a0 says:

      Affleck himself got raves in those reviews though

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Ben is getting rave reviews and he is great for the role. A Times reviewer (only saw a quip-needed to sign up for something to see the full review) was/is a snob calling it “middlebrow”. I’m guessing he didn’t read the book or is a bit daft in the head because it’s not suppose to be a highbrow story. I appreciated this review.

        The minor complaint I have is that family is everything without explaining that family is more than just those you’re related to (sometimes those can be the worst). Family, means to me, the people who genuinely care about you. I’m lucky I have the blood related/non blood related kind.

  5. girl_ninja says:

    I really cannot get over how good Ben looks. He looks 10 years younger since and Jennifer reunited. George looks good too, but he always does.

  6. Marietta2381 says:

    Everyone forgets that Ben can be a good actor, because he used to be Batman. I like this movie for him and I also think the Last Duel is going to be a good thing for him. I’m going to go see it this weekend, not for him per se, mostly because Jodie Comer is my girl crush lol.

    Hopefully both films do well. I will be watching this when it’s out. I’m glad he’s finally choosing roles that suit him better.

  7. minx says:

    I actually counted on my fingers how many months we are from the Oscars in March. Bennifer 2.0 need to keep it going until then.

  8. Liesel says:

    The trailer looks good. It also unfortunately looks like it gives away the entire movie.

    I will use this opportunity though to say that Max Martini who plays the deadbeat dad has always been my Z-list celebrity crush.

    I love Max Martini and Cole Hauser (another celebrity crush from way before Yellowstone). An alpha male ginger hair with a gravelly voice is catnip to me.

    Edited to add: I avoid Max Martini on IG because I suspect I don’t want to know his political leanings.

    • H says:

      This will age me, @Liesel, but I always had a hot celebrity crush on Cole’s father, Wings Hauser. I haven’t heard of this Max guy but I’m going to go look him up on IMDb now.

  9. Keekey says:

    Eh, it looks cute and sappy. Not sure about an Oscar contender.

  10. Pix says:

    It looks good – I mean, the trailer makes it look good. I’d watch it and that’s saying a lot because I don’t care for most movies they’ve been putting out in the last few years. “Prestige” TV is much better than Hollywood movies these days.

  11. TeamMeg says:

    The accents are atrocious! I just can’t with bad accent woik. Me and Julio trailer bounciness doesn’t help either—makes the whole film seem like a lighthearted romp, and I don’t think that’s what they’re going for if this is a coming of age film touching on domestic abuse and social justice issues. Pass for now.

  12. Chaine says:

    Eh, it looks like a movie for guys and#boymoms that is not going to pass the Bechdel test. Pass for me.

  13. Charm says:

    Oooooohhhhhh J. R. Moehringer is helping with Prince Harry’s memoir. When that info first came out, I googled Moehringer and saw that he also helped Andre Agassi with his biography……which is such a compelling read. And which is why I am soooooo looking forward to reading Prince Harry’s memoir. As soon as its available for pre-order I’m ON IT!!!

  14. Ksweet says:

    I’ll watch! I’m a sucker for coming of age movies. And I’m really rooting for Ben to have a good life.

  15. Bella says:

    I read the book a long time ago, and it is fantastic! One of my favorite books. I will definitely watch this! I think he won a Pulitzer for the book.

  16. Eleonor says:

    I have seen the trailer and I am totally going to see the movie.
    But most important: I want to read the book!

  17. Duch says:

    Oh, that wink at the end! Got me

  18. Teebee says:

    Count me in. I think Affleck is a sound actor, though this looks like he is mugging in every shot, but who cares. I do like coming of age movies, and I grew up in this era too. Great soundtrack potential too.

    I also love George Clooney. I know he didn’t direct, but 2 of my favourite movies are his: Up in the Air and The Descendents.