Author Ottessa Moshfegh and director William Oldroyd (Lady Macbeth) are teaming up with Neon for Eileen. It is based on the Moshfegh’s 2015 debut novel of the same name. In an interview with Collider, William Oldroyd opened up about the film. “The material’s not everyone’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I think it’s my cup of tea. I think it’s exactly the sort of stories that I’m drawn to read in books and watch on screen. It’s dark. It’s, at times, strange because Eileen has this vivid inner life. We wanted to represent that visually. It’s risky territory because there’s a tendency to want to play it safe, oftentimes, especially in a very difficult market for cinema at the moment. ”
Eileen: Trailer and Storyline
NEON released the trailer for Eileen on October 17, 2023. If the trailer makes you think of Todd Haynes’ Carol, you’ll not be all wrong, Eileen certainly has a serious Patricia Highsmith vibe.
The film is a character-driven exploration of desire, loneliness, and intricate human relationships. Moshfegh co-wrote the adaptation with her husband Luke Goebel. The novel’s tension steadily builds creating a sense of anticipation throughout the story. It is darkly humorous and brilliantly delves into the psyche of Eileen. Talking to Collider, Ottessa Moshfegh said:
“As the author of a novel you need to see it through a very specific lens, and when you’re adapting it into film that lens is the camera and you have to think like a cinematographer and a director, and you have to think like the character, and you have to think like the character 10 years ago, and you have to think like a writer. So collaborating with people who can help melt away the limits of your singular perspective and offer other ways of seeing your project is crucial.”
The official synopsis for Eileen reads: Based on the book of the same name by bestselling author Ottessa Moshfegh. Set during a bitter 1964 Massachusetts winter, young secretary Eileen (Thomasin McKenzie) becomes enchanted by Rebecca (Anne Hathaway), the glamorous new counselor at the prison where she works. Their budding friendship takes a twisted turn when Rebecca reveals a dark secret — throwing Eileen onto a sinister path.
Cast and Release Date
Eileen boasts a stellar ensemble cast, with Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie in the lead roles. Hathaway plays Rebecca, while McKenzie plays the titular character, Eileen Dunlop. Eileen embodies a dissatisfied and reserved young woman and Dr Rebecca is a reflection of self-assuredness, casting an enigmatic aura in every setting. Other cast members include Owen Teague, Marin Ireland, Tonye Patano, Jefferson White, and Siobhan Fallon-Hogan.
Rolling Stone states, “Eileen wants us to notice how the psychological brick house it’s been building all along explains the outcome. But the outcome almost doesn’t matter. The real joy is in the hungers we tasted along the way.”
With Entertainment Weekly describing it as “A wild Hitchcockian noir”, I can’t wait to see what Eileen has to offer, for all I know Ottessa Moshfegh never fails to amaze when it comes to intricate female characters. The film will grace the big screen with its release on December 8, 2023.
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