Anyone who has seen William Oldroyd’s first 2016 film, Victorian tragedy is incredibly obscene Lady Macbeth, will know not to expect anything out of the ordinary from his long-awaited follow-up. But even with those expectations in mind, what an eerie and gripping psychological thriller he weaves from Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel, Eileen, shares with the British director’s debut a contagious fascination with complex women subject to dark impulses. Brimming with sly humor and daring command of classic Hitchcockian suspense stories, this is a fun and engaging original, led by contrasting yet synchronized performances. professionally by Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway.
While the new film, set in 1964 in a blue-collar Boston suburb, is an entirely different animal from Lady Macbeth, it shares a number of thematic elements, notably the unblinking study of a character in the title, who transforms after she is liberated, her desire to unleash her destruction. Undoubted rings. And like Oldroyd’s previous film, which brought Florence Pugh to the fore, this one will take McKenzie’s career to the next level. Her work here fulfills the promise she has shown in movies like Leave No Traces and Last night in Soho and run with it in a new direction.
A sick beauty.
“People here are pretty angry. It’s Massachusetts,” Eileen Dunlop told her glamorous new colleague at the men’s prison where she works in the office, Hathaway’s Rebecca St. John. But Eileen seems to be the only one who doesn’t feel angry as she stares at couples making love in cars parked by the cold ocean or having sexual fantasies about a lanky warden (Owen Teague). ) before going home every night to talk. abuses her widowed ex-cop father (Shea Whigham). As a mean drunk, he tells her that there are two types of people in the world – dynamic characters you can’t take your eyes off of in movies and other unknowns who just fill the void around them. , combine Eileen with the latter.
While Eileen’s mind flashed thoughts of blowing her or her father’s brain, on the surface she was a rat figure in a shapeless sweater and rundown dress. , indifferent to the curt treatment of his older colleagues at the prison, especially a chief secretary. Play with the hilarious sourness of Siobhan Fallon Hogan. But when Rebecca is introduced as the prison’s new psychologist, a blonde in a tight dress who exudes unshakable poise atop her power heels, something stirred in Eileen. And perhaps Rebecca, a dangerous character inspired by the movie Hitchcock, saw in Eileen something malleable and charismatic.
Rebecca immediately went into easy girlfriend mode, having fun with the younger woman, making her feel noticed and special maybe for the first time, and Eileen responded like a sponge. wet. Soon she’s imitating Rebecca, pulling rolls of cigarette smoke and raiding her mother’s closet. That helps to make the late Mrs. Dunlop a stylishly dressed horse, an unlikely plot convenience being one of many ways that Eileen luxury in its movie-like sham. “You’re different these days,” her father told her. “You’re almost interesting.”
Eileen and Rebecca share a passion for the case of one of the juvenile delinquents serving his sentence, Leo Polk (Sam Nivola), who murdered his father, a police officer, by stabbing him multiple times in bed. Rebecca asks the young man’s mother (Marin Ireland) to come during visitation hours, but Mrs. Polk’s encounter with her son ends with her storming out in a distraught rage, calling him “another one.” Dirty, nasty boy.”
Perhaps to blow off steam after that incident, Rebecca invites Eileen out for after-work cocktails at a town bar, a dingy gathering place in which the psychologist behaves like a hole-in-the-wall fixture Manhattan’s most gorgeous country.
Exuding mundane confidence from every flawless pore, Hathaway showcases her highest commanding abilities in the role. It’s impossible not to share Eileen’s intoxication with Rebecca, who is quick-witted with her intelligence when she uses her fists when a guy is too strong. When she dances to the jukebox with Eileen in The Exciters’ “Tell Him,” then enters a sensual slow-dance with Art Neville’s “All These Things,” the film makes us believe we’re in there. caro territory.
Oldroyd and his screenwriters, Luke Goebel and novelist Moshfegh (refreshing her fine work on causeway), intentionally fostering that passionate romance. DP Ari Wegner’s camera remained fixed on Eileen’s ecstatic face in the bathroom mirror as she braced herself for what she predicted would be a Christmas Eve glamor at her home. Rebecca. “People are so ashamed of their desires,” Rebecca told Eileen, with conspiratorial intimacy that seemed to be a taste of things to come.
But the film creates a big surprise midway through, when the psychologist confesses to a rash act, revealing the confused woman beneath the smooth shell. She drags her young friend into an amazingly compromising situation, which is made worse when Eileen is initially reluctant to board and agrees to help. Noir tones don’t work – slyly hinted from the opening shot of a car shrouded in fog and fueled by the hysterical climax in Richard Reed’s superb soundtrack Parry – bloom.
The tense finale sees both main characters behave in ways that seem to have been rolled inside of them for ages, giving the actors something juicy to work with. Hathaway shows Rebecca’s momentary loss of control before reverting to cool-headed pragmatism while McKenzie pushes Eileen to become almost out of control in her immoral purpose, ready to do anything what to do to get what she wants. Equally stunning in this climax is priceless Ireland, playing a rude, scathing woman who confesses to the depths of corrosive self-deception that can emerge from trauma in a gripping monologue. guide.
Wegner shot at a tight 4:3 aspect ratio that felt the atmosphere for a cold Massachusetts winter was like a grim suffocation, which Eileen discovered through Rebecca that she longed to escape. Similarly, Craig Lathrop’s period production design frames the bleak environment while Olga Mill’s costumes for Rebecca, and later, Eileen seem to hint at the world beckoning beyond. This is a movie that is both wicked and playful, morbidly funny and unsettling. It not only affirms the radical talent that Oldroyd has displayed in Lady Macbeth and stimulate the appetite to adapt more of the work of the famous fictional writer Moshfegh.