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'Eileen' review: Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie burn screen in super-stylish psychological thriller

Anyone who has seen William Oldroyd1964 The first story, a deeply indecent Victorian tragedy Lady Macbeth , will know not to be concerned about his long-awaited follow-up Any ordinary expectations. But even with those expectations in mind, what a strange and engrossing psychological thriller he has woven from Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel Eileen, with the British The director’s debut is as infectiously obsessed with complex women affected by dark impulses. Filled with sly humor and bold use of tropes of classic Hitchcockian suspense, this is a twisty and charming original written by Thomasin McKenzie and

Anne Hathaway .

And the new film, set in 1964 Set in blue-collar, snowy Boston suburbs, is a completely different animal than Lady Macbeth, which shares some thematic elements, especially for the protagonist once To be set free changes, her desire unleashing an unexpected ruthlessness. Like Oldroyd’s last film that thrust Florence Pugh into the spotlight, this one will take McKenzie’s career up a notch. Her work here demonstrates the commitment she has shown in films such as Leave No Trace last night with Soho and run with it to the new direction.

Eileen

Bottom Line A Morbid beauty.

Place: Sundance Film Festival (Premiere)
Throwing
: Thomasin McKenzie, Anne Hathaway, Shay Whigham, Marin Ireland , Owen Teague, Sam Nivola, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Tonye Patano

Director : William Oldroyd screenwriter: Luke Goebel, Ottessa Moshfegh, based on Moshfegh’s novel

1 hour minute

“Everyone here is pissed off. This is Massachusetts,” Eileen Dunlop tells her charming new colleague at a boys’ prison, Hathaway’s Rebecca St. John ( Rebecca St. John), she works in the office. But Eileen seems to be the only one who doesn’t touch her rage as she stares wistfully at the loving couple parked in a car parked by the cold sea, or has sexual fantasies about a lanky prison guard (Owen Teague) abusing her every night before heading home Widowed ex-cop father (Shea Whigham). A mean-spirited drunk who told her there are two kinds of people in the world – the dynamic characters you can’t take your eyes off of in movies, and the nobodies who just fill the space around them, will Erin Confused with the latter.

When the idea of ​​blowing her or her father’s head off comes to Eileen’s mind, she’s ostensibly a Rat, insensitive to the rough treatment of her older colleagues in prison, especially a chief secretary, is played with Siobhan Fallon Hogan’s hilarious sourness. But when Rebecca is named the new prison psychologist, the vision of blonde blended into tight dresses and poised in powerful heels comes to Erin’s mind. Perhaps Rebecca, a dangerous character inspired by Hitchcock films, in turn sees something malleable and alluring in Irene.

Rebecca immediately goes into easy, relaxed girlfriend mode with young women, probably the first time she feels seen and special, and Eileen reacts like a sponge Absorbs water. Soon she was following Rebecca’s lead, scouring her mother’s closet, trailing coils of cigarettes. The late Mrs. Dunlop was a fashion dress horse, an uncanny plot for one of the many ways Eileen revels in her cinematic affectation convenient. “You’re different these days,” her dad told her. “You’re almost funny.”

Eileen and Rebecca become obsessed with the case of one of the serving teenage delinquents, Leo Polk (Sam Nivola), who murdered his police officer father Stabbed him multiple times in his bed. Rebecca asks the young man’s mother (Marin Ireland) to come in during visiting hours, but Mrs Polk’s encounter with her son ends with her storming out angrily, calling him a “dirty, nasty boy”.

Rebecca might be there After the incident vented, Erin was invited for cocktails at a bar in town after get off work, a dimly lit hangout in which the psychologist behaved like a fixture in Manhattan’s trendiest watering hole.

Exuding worldly confidence From every flawless pore, Hathaway is at her most commanding in this role. It was impossible not to share with Rebecca Irene’s intoxication, her wit as quick as her fist when a man came too hard. As she and Eileen dance around the jukebox to The Exciters’ “Tell Him,” before blending into a sensual slow dance to Art Neville’s “All These Things,” the movie lures us into believing we’re in Carol territory.

Oldroyd and his screenwriter, Luke Goebel and novelist Moshfegh (who is in Causeway), consciously nourishing that intoxicating romance. Director of photography Ari Wegner kept his camera fixed on Eileen’s tense and ecstatic face in the bathroom mirror as she mentally prepared herself as she was expected to be in Lipe A Christmas Eve seduction at Rebecca’s home. “People are ashamed of their desires,” Rebecca tells Erin, and the conspiracy-like intimacy seems to be a harbinger of things to come.

But a major surprise pops up midway through the film, as the psychologist admits to a reckless move to expose a restless woman beneath a sleek exterior. She pulls her young friend into a shockingly compromising situation that only gets worse once the initially reluctant Irene joins in and agrees to help. The dormant black tone – subtly hinted at since the opening car is shrouded in fog and boosted by the rousing crescendo of Richard Reed Parry’s beautifully arched soundtrack – blossoms into fruition.

The tense final scene sees the two main characters behave in a way that seems to have been coiled within them, giving the cast something succulent. Hathaway shows Rebecca momentarily out of control before resuming her level-headed pragmatism, while MacKenzie pushes Erin to become almost unhinged in her amoral purposefulness, willing to do anything to get what she wants of. Equally astonishing in this climactic segment is the invaluable Ireland, who plays a crass, mean woman who, in a riveting monologue, acknowledges the depths of corrosive self-deception triggered by trauma.

Wegner shot in a tight 4:3 aspect ratio to create the atmospheric feel of an icy cold Massachusetts winter like a grim choke, Eileen finds her via Rebecca longing to escape. Craig Lathrop’s period production design also highlights the bleak setting, while Olga Mill’s costumes for Rebecca and later Eileen seem to hint at the wider world. It’s a movie that’s vicious and playful, morbidly funny and disturbing. Not only does it confirm Oldroyd’s radical talent in

Lady Macbeth , it also inspires a much better review of the work of renowned novelist Moshfegh. Interest in multiple screen adaptations.

Full credits

Venue: Sundance Film Festival (Premiere)
Production company: Likely Story, Omniscient Films
Cast: Thomas Sean McKenzie, Anne Hathaway, Shay Whigham, Marin Ireland, Owen Teague, Sam Nivola, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Tony Pata Director Nuo

: William Oldroyd
Writers: Luke Goebel, Ottessa Moshfegh, based on Moshfegh’s novel
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Stephanie Aspiazzu, Peter Cron, Luke Goebel, Ottessa Moshfegh, William Oldroyd
Executive Producers: Farhana Bhula, Ollie Madden, Julia Oh, Gregory Zuk, Jamin O’Brien

Director of Photography: Ari Wegner
Production Designer: Crai g Lathrop
Costume Designer: Olga Mir
Music: Richard Reed Parry
Editor: Nick Emerson
Casting: Jenny McCarthy, Rory Bregman
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