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First Look at Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut and Oscar Hopeful, 'Rosewater'

Gael Garcia Bernal as journalist Maziar Bahari
Gael Garcia Bernal as journalist Maziar Bahari

For those who find Jon Stewart insufferable on The Daily Show each evening, and I am certainly not one of those people, imagine how he'll be if he wins an Academy Award. While that may have seemed like an impossibility some time ago, Stewart did take some months off from the hit show to make his directorial debut with Rosewater. And Open Road Films must think highly of it because they've just given it an Oscar-ready release date on November 7th.

Along with the announcement comes the first image from Rosewater (courtesy of EW), and it features star Gael Garcia Bernal. He plays BBC journalist Maziar Bahari, whose memoir chronicles the 118 days he spent in an Iranian prison after heading there to cover the Presidential election protests. Accused of being a spy, Bahari was blindfolded, tortured, and interrogated repeatedly by a captor he could only identify by the smell of rosewater.

Bahari's story was one Stewart wanted to tell after the journalist's prior appearance on the show was used against him by his captors. After cracking a joke with EW about having having people arrested before becoming their friends, Stewart got serious in talking about why he wanted to make this his first movie...

Stewart: “It may not be what people expect from me; it’s not a comedy. I hope people view it for what it is—a love letter to expression and the importance of it. It’s everything.”

Shohreh Aghdashloo co-stars as Bahari's mother, while Kim Bodnia plays his captor "Rosewater".