Parasitic obsession takes root in Eileen, director William Oldroyd’s adaptation of Ottessa Moshfegh’s captivating 2015 novel. This intriguing 1960s-set noir, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, features career-defining performances from Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie. The film is set to hit theaters on December 1 in limited release, followed by a wider release on December 8. Catch a glimpse of the official trailer of Eileen below.
Plot and Setting
Set in the harsh winter of 1964, just outside of Boston, Eileen revolves around the titular character, a young secretary portrayed by Thomas McKenzie. Her life takes a curious turn when she becomes infatuated with a glamorous, blonde counselor at the prison where she works. The storyline takes a sinister twist with the arrival of a recently incarcerated juvenile, now in the institution after his father’s murder. Together, Eileen and Rebecca (played by Hathaway) form a twisted connection that draws comparisons to films like ‘Carol’ and Hitchcock’s classics, particularly considering Hathaway’s character’s cinematic namesake.
The Filmmaker and Team
William Oldroyd, known for ‘Lady Macbeth,’ which launched Florence Pugh’s career, directs Eileen. The screenplay is penned by Ottessa Moshfegh in collaboration with her partner, Luke Goebel.
According to the review from Sundance, Eileen offers an immersive world with detailed cinematography that captures the essence of the era. Oldroyd’s use of rear projection and a classic typeface in the opening credits evokes nostalgia for classic film noirs. Richard Reed Parry’s score, combining jazz with ominous orchestral arrangements, enhances the movie’s captivating atmosphere. Oldroyd skillfully blends styles while keeping the central performances at the heart of the film.
Anne Hathaway’s Take
Anne Hathaway recently discussed her role in Eileen and its connection to her character in Rebecca Miller’s She Came to Me, which is currently in theaters. In both films, her characters experience emotional breakdowns. Hathaway commented, “I saw ‘Eileen’ at Sundance, and then I saw ‘She Came to Me’ at Berlin, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I scream in two independent films this year.’ As an actor, you’re always concerned about repeating yourself, and I’m thrilled you saw the differences and nuances in them.”
Following its debut at Sundance, Eileen recently made an appearance at NewFest in New York, building anticipation for its upcoming release.
Stay tuned for more updates on this intriguing 1960s-set noir featuring Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie. It promises to be a must-see for fans of dark, compelling cinema.