There are actors who become directors. And there are directors who become actors. And then, there are actors who become directors and direct other actors who are also directors. That’s what’s going on with The Tender Bar, the new film by George Clooney starring Ben Affleck, which tells the story of a caring uncle who watches his fatherless nephew try to find father figures among the patrons of his bar. Amazon Studios will release The Tender Bar in theaters nationwide on December 22 before it debuts on Amazon Prime Video on January 7, 2022.
The first-look image into the Clooney-directed film features a bearded Affleck listening to what looks like a despondent Tye Sheridan, who plays his nephew JR. Remember when you got drunk and ended up venting all your problems to the bartender? Well, in this version the bartender actually listens instead of only taking away your car keys. Of course, it also helps that the bartender is family too.
Based on a true story, The Tender Bar was adapted from the best-selling memoir of the same name by author J.R. Moehringer. The adaptation was written by Academy Award winner William Monahan (The Departed, Kingdom of Heaven). This will be the second film Clooney directs for a streaming platform, the first being The Midnight Sky, released by Netflix in 2020.
The cast also features Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), and Max Casella (Inside Llewyn Davis). Amazon will release The Tender Bar first in L.A. and NYC on December 17 before the film premieres in theaters nationwide on December 22 and then globally on Prime Video on January 7.
You can read the official synopsis below:
The Tender Bar tells the story of J.R. (Sheridan), a fatherless boy growing up in the glow of a bar where the bartender, his Uncle Charlie (Affleck), is the sharpest and most colorful of an assortment of quirky and demonstrative father figures. As the boy’s determined mother (Rabe) struggles to provide her son with opportunities denied to her — and leave the dilapidated home of her outrageous if begrudgingly supportive father (Christopher Lloyd) — J.R. begins to gamely, if not always gracefully, pursue his romantic and professional dreams — with one foot persistently placed in Uncle Charlie’s bar.