This Anne Hathaway thriller is 2023’s freakiest movie. Here’s why you should watch it

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A adolescent woman looks at addition woman in Eileen.neon

Early December is the time to appear to the accepted account of things to do afore the year ends, such as pay behind bills, buy those last-minute gifts, or grudgingly appear acutely awkward Christmas parties. It’s additionally a time to barbecue on the best cinema has to offer, as studios and absolute distributors akin absolution cine afterwards cine advised to win awards and the stone-cold hearts of critics worldwide.

Chances are, you’ve apparent Oppenheimer, and accept at atomic heard of Killers of the Flower Moon, Napoleon, or The Holdovers. All of those movies are accomplished and deserve to be seen, but there’s one cine that’s aerial beneath the alarm that’s appropriately aces of attention. Eileen is actuality marketed as a thriller, and while it does accept its allotment of thrills, it’s so abundant added than that. It’s additionally a abundant atmospheric affection allotment and an accomplished advertise for two actresses at the top of their game. It additionally possesses one of the best infuriating endings of the year. Eileen is cool (you aloof never apperceive absolutely area it’s going) and indefinable, and it’s 2023’s best artful movie.

Eileen has a abundant faculty of time and place

Two women babble alfresco a bar in Eileen.Image acclimated with permission by absorb holder

Set in a Boston suburb in the 1960s, Eileen centers about Eileen Dunlop (Thomasin McKenzie), a adolescent woman trapped in a black life. She tends to her alcoholic ex-cop ancestor at home and is about a walking apparition at work, a arid correctional ability for adolescent delinquents. It’s no abruptness Eileen has a affluent fantasy life, and frequently dreams of absorbing one of her co-workers or alarming her bashed dad’s arch off. Can you accusation her?

Everything changes with the accession of Rebecca (Anne Hathaway), a alluring analyst with beauteous platinum beard and a too-good-to-be-true agreeableness that instantly captivates Eileen. What’s the accord with Rebecca? And why does she assume so fatigued to the apparent and acutely arid Eileen, who is abandoned by anybody else? As the adventure unfolds, both Rebecca and Eileen ascertain they don’t absolutely apperceive the added that able-bodied afterwards all, and that acceptable intentions can advance to tragedy.

Movies are declared to booty you to new worlds you’ve never been to, right? Well, one of Eileen‘s strengths is how vividly it paints its aged setting. You can about feel the arctic and apathy seeping out of Eileen’s baby town, which is bent amid the aboveboard acquiescence of the 1950s and the post-Camelot era of the mid-1960s. While the Bahston accents run blubbery and heavy, they are never cartoonish; they are apparently accurate or, in one character’s case, so apparently inauthentic that it makes you catechism their motives. There’s a absolute faculty of time and time abode in Eileen that area it alike back its artifice goes advisedly off the rails.

Anne Hathaway shines as the coquette fatale

Two women ball in Eileen.Neon

Eileen wouldn’t assignment as able-bodied as it does after its two advance performers, both of whom accord career-best performances. As Eileen, McKenzie is superb at carrying the quiet agony of a woman who is seeing activity canyon her by. Eileen is a alarming dreamer, and her flights of adorned that already cloistral her from her banal activity bound abuse to break what little joy she has as the cine progresses. There’s article a little off with Eileen, and McKenzie does a agitating job at clueing us in on her aberration after authoritative her a caricature.

With her Marilyn Monroe crew and affection for form-fitting pencil skirts, Rebecca is a chichi character, and Hathaway does her justice. It’s what critics alarm a “star performance,” one that is about indescribable, but you apperceive it back you see it. Hathaway understands that as written, Rebecca is a little bit ridiculous; afterwards all, how abounding movie-star glamazon psychologists existed in Boston in the aboriginal 1960s?

A woman smokes a cigarette in Eileen.Neon

She has fun arena the fantasy that Rebecca represents; she’s aggregate Eileen desires — beauty, brains, grace, and audacity — alike back the bits hits the fan after on. It’s role that assuredly fulfills Hathaway’s meme cachet as Mother; she’s instantly iconic, and she serves face and aptitude in Eileen like no other.

Eileen has an infuriating catastrophe that’s absolutely perfect

A adolescent woman looks to her ancillary in Eileen.Neon

It’s adamantine to allocution about Eileen‘s catastrophe after abasement it, but what’s so abundant about the cine is how ambiguous its catastrophe is. The cine doesn’t abundantly blanket things up and answers all the questions it aloft previously; instead, it artlessly … ends. Or rather, the adventure itself ends, but Eileen herself continues to backpack on.

Confused? You’ll accept afterwards you’ve watch the movie. And you may disagree with me on whether or not Eileen should end the way it does. It takes assumption to achieve a cine after absolutely answering its axial mystery, and to accession alike added questions, and present added mysteries, than before. That’s what makes Eileen so memorable, and so haunting. Just back you anticipate you accept a butt on what it’s about, it block abroad from you, and leaves you academic what the hell you aloof watched.

EILEEN - Official Trailer

Good. We charge added movies like that. Tidy endings can be satisfying, but advancing ones like Eileen‘s accept their own pleasures, too. In my mind, the cine hasn’t absolutely chock-full playing. I’m still unwrapping its abounding layers, and aggravating to break the baffling abstruseness of Eileen herself.

Eileen is now arena in bound release. It will aggrandize civic after in December.

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Jason Struss

Jason is a writer, editor, and pop ability enthusiast whose adulation for cinema, television, and bargain banana books has led him to…

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