Based on the book of the same name by Ottessa Moshfegh, it tells the story of a toxic and generally parasitic relationship between two women who work at a prison center. On one side you have Eileen, who is reserved but looking to explore different parts of herself. She’s also dreadfully bored with her job. And then there’s Rebecca. She’s the new counselor at the prison. And from the very first moment, Eileen recognizes something in Rebecca that calls out to her. As they get to know each other, those small bits of herself that she’s always wanted to explore, start coming out for Eileen. But Rebecca is hiding a dark secret that could lead Eileen down a path she never intended.
More important than the synopsis is the trailer for Eileen. It is unequivocally sapphic. The way that these frames are shot of something forbidden and indulgent. Hathaway gives her co-star Thomasin Mackenzie these sultry looks that would absolutely steal my heart and 2.5 seconds. And there’s something in the way that they move together when they’re dancing or when they’re confronting a new problem in the trailer. They have found kinship in each other and it goes way beyond them just being friends. There is tension between them. And knowing how deserted the sapphic space has been this past year, I hope that this movie explores openly and bluntly the relationships between two women.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch the trailer below and let me know what you think. Because while I love seeing these two in a creepy sapphic romance crime thriller, I always get a little thrown off when people who aren’t queer play queer characters. That’s especially true when queer people don’t get enough opportunities in the first place to enter Hollywood or play these characters. This doesn’t mean I won’t watch Eileen. I will. But I will continue to ask for more along the way.
Watch the official trailer for Eileen below:
Eileen hits theaters on December 1, 2023.