IFC Films has released a trailer for Jennifer Kent's sophomore feature, The Nightingale. Kent made her directorial debut on 2014's The Babadook, a horror-drama about a widowed mother who comes to believe that she and her son are being tormented by a real-life monster, known as Mister Babadook. The film was all-but universally acclaimed for its psychological themes and ominous sense of atmosphere, and left cinephiles excited to see what Kent would do with her second time at bat.
The project in question, The Nightingale, was both written and directed by Kent, and screened at last year's major film festivals in Venice and Adelaide. Set in Tasmania circa 1825, the film stars Aisling Franciosi (The Fall, Genius) as Clare, an Irish convict who suffers a horrifying crime at the hands of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin), and his men. When the British authorities refuse to do anything, Clare decides to go after Hawkins and take justice for herself, as seen in the movie's newly-released trailer.
Relative newcomer Baykali Ganambarr costars in The Nightingale as Billy, a young Aboriginal tracker who begrudgingly agrees to guide Clare through the wilderness and help her find her abusers. IFC Films picked up the project following its festival run in January, and set it for a Summer 2019 release date shortly after. It has since unveiled an official trailer, which you can check out in the space below.
Early reviews for The Nightingale have been largely positive, as illustrated by the pull-quotes featured in the trailer. At the same time, critics have described the film as being unrelentingly brutal in its depiction of the realities of righteous anger, grief, trauma, and the true cost of vengeance. It's not exactly a movie that can be recommended lightly, in other words, between its grim tone, bleak style, and disturbing subject matter (which, in addition to the aforementioned topics, also includes the bloody colonization of Australia in the 19th century). However, for those who were impressed by Kent's freshman feature and/or are game to watch a gritty historical revenge thriller or Aussie western, this looks and sounds like something to see.
At the moment, The Nightingale is scheduled to begin a limited release this year on Friday, August 2. Its opening weekend competition includes Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, but one imagines the former will have little trouble standing out as counter-programming to Dwayne Johnson's latest vehicle and the other blockbusters playing in theaters at that point. Kent's fans shouldn't have to wait too long for her followup project either, as she's currently working on an episode for Guillermo del Toro's Netflix horror anthology series, 10 After Midnight.
Source: IFC Films