The World To Come – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Mona Fastvold
Starring: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Christopher Abbott, Casey Affleck
In cinemas July 23rd
Set in 1856, this period drama sees Abigail (Waterson) and Dyer (Affleck) living an isolated life in the country. Eeking out an existence working as farmers, they are devastated when their daughter dies. Growing ever more distant the couple barely communicate. When a new couple moves in close to them, Abigail finds herself drawn to the wife Tallie (Kirby) and the two soon begin an affair. But marital and gender politics of the time are not on their side.
This forbidden love story will be familiar to many. It is somewhat reminiscent of Brokeback Mountain but with women. It looks beautiful – the country setting allows for some stunning cinematography and the cast are also impressive. Kirby in particular is wonderful and shows that there is far more to her than her most famous role of Princess Margaret in the Crown.
The story is told primarily from Watson’s characters point of view and utilises voiceover rather than character interaction to tell the audience what is going on. There is a lot of exposition using this method. Indeed at times, this method of storytelling makes it feel a bit dense. However, there are enough dramatic tangents to keep viewers engaged and you do find yourself wanting to see this through to the end. This also, wisely, avoids using the women’s relationship to titillate and it feels quite authentic and organic.
This isn’t high drama. It is rather a slow burner that creeps into your psyche. It’s a beautiful film but not very exciting. It demands your attention and will stick with you long after the credits roll. Not quite the modern classic that it seems to want to be but a satisfying watch nonetheless.