‘Belfast’ trailer shows the heart behind the troubles of 1960s Ireland

(Image credit: Focus Features)

Movie fans have gotten their first look at the upcoming drama Belfast from writer/director Kenneth Branagh, which is said to be inspired by his own childhood in 1960s Ireland. As we head into the heart of Oscar season, Belfast is expected to be among the films vying for awards attention.

Belfast is described as a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy’s childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. The five-time Oscar nominee Branagh has compiled an impressive cast for his latest directorial effort, including Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Judi Dench and newcomer Jude Hill.

Going to step away from being objective for a second to say that I love this trailer. The black-and-white cinematography is gorgeous, the music selection is fantastic to show the joys and counteract the drama that the film covers, and it just looks like an overall crowd pleaser.

See for yourself by watching the trailer below. Belfast is set for a release in theaters on Nov. 12.

Belfast is making its debut at the currently underway Telluride Film Festival and then will head north of the border to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Branagh is best known as an actor in roles that include Hercule Poirot in the Murder on the Orient Express remake (he also directed the film and its upcoming sequel Death on the Nile), as well as in films that include Tenet, My Week With Marilyn and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. His writing credits mostly include Shakespeare adaptations, including an Oscar nomination for 1996’s Hamlet. Some of his directorial outings have also included Thor and Cinderella.

Focus Features is releasing Belfast exclusively in theaters. However, NBCUniversal, which owns Focus, previously announced that Universal Studio and Focus Features movies will make their streaming debut on its Peacock platform starting in 2022. This could mean there’s a good chance that Peacock is where Belfast will first appear for streaming audiences when the time comes, though depending on existing licensing deals it may still arrive first on another service. 

With the November release any debut on streaming likely wouldn’t come to the very end of 2021, beginning of 2022.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.