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The movie, which is based on novelist J.R. Moehringer’s 2005 memoir of the same name, depicts the life of a fatherless boy, played by Daniel Ranieri in his childhood years, growing up on Long Island. The trailer begins with a young J.R. learning lessons from his Uncle Charlie, portrayed by Ben Affleck, who works as a bartender.
“OK, two rules. I’m never gonna let you win. And I’m gonna always tell you the truth,” Uncle Charlie tells J.R. in the clip, which also shows the boy being raised by a single mother (Lily Rabe) and developing a love for reading and writing. The trailer then transitions to show J.R.’s life as a teenager, now played by Tye Sheridan, as he attends Yale in the 1980s. J.R. pursues his dream of becoming a writer and begins a relationship with one of his classmates.
Uncle Charlie, now older and wiser, encourages his nephew after a few setbacks, saying, “In life, you gotta have ‘it.’ If you don’t have ‘it,’ you’ll never get it. And I say you got it.”
The Tender Bar also stars Christopher Lloyd and Briana Middleton. The film’s screenplay was written by Academy Award winner William Monahan (The Departed).
The drama had its international premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 10. The Hollywood Reporter’s Sheri Linden wrote of the film, “In its focus on a working-class neighborhood in the Long Island town of Manhasset, the new film favors ’70s earth tones, the more faded and smoke-stained the better, and it’s alive with messy, loving clashes and bursts of joy.”
The Tender Bar will be shown in select theaters starting Dec. 17 before hitting Amazon Prime Video on Jan. 7.
Watch the trailer below.
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