‘Mass’ trailer teases emotional Sundance drama

Emmy winner Ann Dowd could find herself as a first-time Oscar nominee thanks to “Mass,” the new drama from actor-turned-director Fran Kranz.

Dowd is part of a four-hander in the new film, which Bleecker Street will release in theaters this fall. According to the Gold Derby odds, she’s the top choice among users and experts in the Best Supporting Actress category. In the film, Dowd and Reed Birney play the parents of a troubled boy who murdered the son of another couple, played by Martha Plimpton and Jason Isaacs. The details of the crime and the trauma both families endured in its wake are slowly revealed throughout “Mass,” which debuted to strong reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Kranz, an actor who appeared in “Dollhouse” and “The Cabin in the Woods,” wrote the script for “Mass” in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. “I just felt simply compelled,” Kranz told Gold Derby earlier this year. “I reacted so differently [to that mass shooting]. I think it was mostly because I was a new parent and I may have responded differently just for that reason alone.”

The drama, pieces of which can be seen in the just-released trailer, unfolds in relative real-time, allowing all four performers to dig into their characters and lean into the emotion.

“What we were heading for, those things don’t necessarily work,” Dowd said of the way the cast worked in unison. “In fact, I would say they most often do not. This, and I do not mean this in a religious manner, was a blessed experience. It was a protected experience, in my view. There were so many ways it could have flown off … Fran had already done the hardest thing, write it, and now you’re going to direct it. How did any of it happen, honest to God? I don’t know.”

Bleecker Street is set to release “Mass” in theaters on October 8.

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