Okay, I know. Some of you read that and immediately ran to the Wikipedia page to learn more. Some of you may have even looked up Ottessa Moshfegh’s source novel, which I intend to read before I see the film again later this year (for the film, Moshfegh adapted her own book alongside her husband, the writer Luke Goebel; I’m told it’s a faithful adaptation). Heck, maybe some of you read /Film chief film critic Chris Evangelista’s review of the film from the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Here’s a link. You can read it. It’s good writing. Chris agrees with me that it’s one of the best movies of the year. But for perhaps the first time ever, I’m actually going to beg you not to click on /Film link. Yes, even in this economy.
We’ll surely run the trailer as a news post when it arrives, but you shouldn’t click on that either. Let me just tell you that I was bowled over by “Eileen,” Oldroyd’s precise direction, and how he modulates tone. Let me just tell you that the film knows the appeal of Anne Hathaway, and makes better use of her than any film in her long career. Let me just tell you that Thomasin McKenzie, already a rising star who has impressed with every role, gives the kind of performance that could (should) define her as someone whose mere presence makes a movie a must-see.
There’s a moment in the film — you’ll know it when you see it — where the floor fell out from underneath me and I knew I’d have to write this article. So here it is.
I could talk about the genre, or the story, or the character relationships, or the score (which is so very specific that going into detail here would destroy everything I’m trying to accomplish by being so vague). But I won’t. Instead, I’ll end as vaguely as I can. Pencil in December 1, 2023 for the film’s limited release. Pencil in December 8, 2023 for its wide release. I want to hear people’s reactions to this one. And I hope they can experience it in the same way I did.