‘The Public’ Trailer: Emilio Estevez And A Star-Studded Cast Are Stuck In A Library

Go to your nearest public library any time of day and what you’re likely to find is that it’s become a refuge for the homeless. Not only do they see it as easy, accessible shelter, but possibly the only place where they can get a reliable and free internet connection. I don’t think it’s a big deal, but under the wrong circumstances, it could become quite a headache. Emilio Estevez has clearly given this some thought, as his latest ensemble The Public takes place in a Cincinnati library that has been occupied by homeless patrons during a severe weather event.

Estevez wrote, directed, and stars in the film which has an impressive ensemble that includes Alec Baldwin, Michael K. Williams, Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Jeffrey Wright, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, and Ki Hong Lee. Damn.

Here’s the full synopsis: In “The Public” an unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, some homeless patrons turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in. What begins as an act of civil disobedience becomes a stand-off with police and a rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening. This David versus Goliath story tackles some of our nation’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

This looks like an old fashioned Capra-esque comedy, tackling of-the-moment social issues with levity and Hollywood star power. Reviews from out of Toronto were solid, and this trailer shows a lot of potential in Estevez’s first directorial effort since 2010’s The Way.

The Public opens on April 5th.