Sundance film evaluate: ‘Eileen’ meanders, then spirals

Sundance film evaluate: ‘Eileen’ meanders, then spirals


Sundance film evaluate: ‘Eileen’ meanders, then spirals

Anne Hathaway (L) and Thomasin McKenzie star in “Eileen.” Picture courtesy of Sundance Institute

Jan. 25 (UPI) — Eileen, which premiered Saturday on the Sundance Movie Competition, by no means finds a rhythm for its intimate drama. By the point it takes a pointy flip, the movie has failed to determine a baseline.

Eileen Dunlop (Thomasin McKenzie) works at a jail. She has fantasies each sexual and violent.

Eileen lives along with her father (Shea Whigham), a former police chief and widower who drinks all day and judges Eileen for going out and coming again matted. Dr. Rebecca St. John (Anne Hathaway) involves work on the jail earlier than Christmas and affords Eileen a brand new connection.

An uneventful character examine could make a superbly effective drama, however Eileen does not make its title character’s existence compelling. Eileen likes Rebecca, in order that they exit as soon as collectively and dance, then Rebecca goes on trip for Christmas.

It is a transient respite in Eileen’s dreary life. However, if the dreary life was the purpose, there’s not a lot to it both.

Chief Dunlop injures himself whereas Eileen is at work, and nonetheless brandishes his gun round which is troubling. Nonetheless, this proves to be establishing a twist that is not satisfying sufficient to warrant the movie’s disjoined construction.

Eileen’s violent fantasies get previous as soon as you already know they are not actual. The movie all the time cuts again to the true scene the place Eileen has not truly dedicated the violence.

So, the final half-hour of Eileen grow to be a unique film. Solely it is not like From Nightfall Until Daybreak the place the change is the purpose.

It feels actually unmotivated in Eileen. The movie relies on the novel by Ottessa Moshfegh so readers should determine if it labored higher on the web page.

So, attending to know Eileen and Rebecca does not lay sufficient groundwork to make their third act disaster a compelling scenario. Maybe when Eileen involves streaming, the top will make an honest brief movie if one does not have to observe the entire film.

Fred Topel, who attended movie college at Ithaca Faculty, is a UPI leisure author primarily based in Los Angeles. He has been knowledgeable movie critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001 and a member of the Tv Critics Affiliation since 2012. Learn extra of his work in Leisure.


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