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Malcolm & Marie Trailer: Zendaya’s Movie Isn’t A Love Story

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Netflix has released the first trailer for Malcolm & Marie, starring Zendaya and John David Washington. Both actors had big years in 2020. Washington led Christopher Nolan's Tenet, one of the few films to release in theaters last year. Meanwhile, Zendaya nabbed her first Emmy, winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Euphoria. She reteamed with the show's creator, Sam Levinson, for Malcolm & Marie, which he wrote and directed. The movie will release on February 5.

Malcolm & Marie follows the title couple as they spend a night examining their relationship following a film premiere for one of Malcolm's movies. The movie stands out as one of the few to successfully begin and end production in the midst of the pandemic this summer, when the majority of Hollywood was still shut down. Zendaya confirmed the secret project in July with a first look image. In September, Netflix acquired Malcolm & Marie for an impressive $30 million.

Now, Netflix shares the first trailer for the film, which shows the highs and lows of the relationship between Washington and Zendaya's characters. The first footage promises "This is not a love story," though it's still classified as a romantic drama. The trailer highlights the intimacy of the movie, which has been compared to fellow Netflix film Marriage Story. Watch the Malcolm & Marie trailer below:

Interestingly, while many projects right now are trying to hide the fact they're filming during a pandemic, Malcolm & Marie seems to embrace it. It's clear from the very small cast and single set the goal was to take the limitations imposed on filmmaking at the time and make them the movie's strength. The trailer suggests Malcolm & Marie will bear more of a resemblance to a filmed play than a movie, which will help it stand out. The choice to shoot it entirely in black-and-white adds to the inherent simplicity of the film and will help Zendaya and Washington's performances shine even brighter.

It seems likely both stars will factor into the Oscars race this year, as Malcolm & Marie is releasing within the eligibility window. Even a nomination would be extremely impressive for Zendaya, coming off her still fairly recent Emmy win. Meanwhile, Washington was lauded for his performance in 2018's BlacKkKlansman, so both actors are on the Academy's radar. Of course, though Malcolm & Marie certainly looks like it will be a critical darling, it will be hard to know for sure until the movie releases in February.

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