The World to Come is a 2020 American drama film directed by Mona Fastvold, from a screenplay by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard, based upon Shepard's story of the same name. It stars Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Christopher Abbott and Casey Affleck, and follows two neighboring couples battling hardship and isolation in mid-19th century America.

The World to Come
Official poster
Directed byMona Fastvold
Screenplay byRon Hansen
Jim Shepard
Based on"The World to Come"
by Jim Shepard
Produced byPamela Koffler
David Hinojosa
Casey Affleck
Whitaker Lader
Margarethe Baillou
CinematographyAndre Chemetoff
Edited byDávid Jancsó
Music byDaniel Blumberg
Distributed byBleecker Street
Release dates
  • September 6, 2020 (2020-09-06) (Venice)
  • February 12, 2021 (2021-02-12) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes[1][2][3]
CountryUnited States
Box office$205,878[2][3]

It had its world premiere at the 77th Venice International Film Festival on September 6, 2020, where it won the Queer Lion award for best LGBTQ-themed film at the festival.[4] It was released in a limited release on February 12, 2021, followed by video on demand on March 2, 2021, by Bleecker Street.

Plot edit

In 1856 in Schoharie County, Abigail and Dyer live an isolated life in the country working as farmers. They are both devastated by the recent loss of their young daughter Nellie.

A new similarly childless couple moves in beside them. Abigail is immediately entranced by Tallie, the wife, and the two women form a quick and deep friendship. Abigail confides to Tallie that her marriage with Dyer is based on practicality, not romance while Tallie reveals that her husband Finney can be quarrelsome and controlling.

For Abigail's birthday Tallie buys her an atlas that she had longed for. When Tallie is returning home from the birthday visit she is caught in a storm that nearly kills her. Her husband takes her away to recuperate, and when she returns it is spring and Tallie resumes her visits to Abigail.

Eventually Tallie reveals to Abigail that she only dreams of being with her. Abigail feels similarly and the two kiss. They begin a sexual affair. Dyer, who has become increasingly emotional since their child's death, is upset of the time that Abigail spends with Tallie. Tallie's husband becomes similarly jealous of the hours she is spending away from him. Abigail expresses concern about Finney telling Tallie of many husbands poisoning their wives in the county.

Finney eventually asks Abigail and Dyer to dinner where he uncomfortably brings up their lost child and Abigail notices bruises on Tallie's neck. Finney tells a morbid story about holding his disobedient dog outside until it froze to death. Afterwards Tallie doesn't visit for a week. Abigail finally goes in search of her and finds her rented house empty with only a bloody kerchief left behind. Though she suspects foul play, she eventually receives a letter from Tallie informing her she has moved 85 miles away to the Skaneateles area of Onondaga County.

Abigail insists on going to see Tallie and Dyer reluctantly complies. However by the time they arrive Tallie is dead. Finney claims it is from diphtheria, a flashback reveals Tallie and Abigail having sex. Another flashback shows Finney holding and dancing with Tallie until she collapsed.

Abigail returns to her life on the farm. She and Dyer continue to work together but are still emotionally estranged. To comfort herself, Abigail imagines murdering Finney one day and tries to picture Nellie and Tallie comforting one another in the afterlife. When Dyer asks her to imagine anything she can do to ease their longing, Abigail begins to imagine Tallie in his place.

Cast edit

Production edit

It was announced in February 2019 that Casey Affleck would produce and star in the film, with Mona Fastvold directing. Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby and Jesse Plemons were also cast in the film, although Plemons dropped out and was later replaced with Christopher Abbott.[5]

Principal photography in Romania began on September 2019.[6][7]

Music edit

British composer Daniel Blumberg was commissioned to compose music for the film.[8] He collaborated with avant-garde musicians including Peter Brötzmann, Josephine Foster and Steve Noble on the score, and enlisted Scott Walker producer Peter Walsh to co-produce.[9]

Release edit

The film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2020.[10] Shortly after, Bleecker Street acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film.[11] Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions will distribute the film outside the United States.[12] It was released in a limited release on February 12, 2021,[2] followed by video on demand on March 2, 2021.[3][13] On 6 March 2022, it began showing on Sky Cinema Premiere in the United Kingdom.[14]

Critical reception edit

The World to Come holds a 75% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 142 reviews, with an average of 6.7/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "The World to Come is made from ingredients that will be familiar to fans of period forbidden romance movies, but they're given fresh life thanks to an excellent cast."[15] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 73 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally positive reviews".[16]

References edit

  1. ^ "The World to Come". Venice Film Festival. July 17, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "The World to Come (2020)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "The World to Come (2021) — Financial Information". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  4. ^ Steve Pond, "‘Nomadland’ Wins Golden Lion Award at Venice Film Festival". TheWrap, September 12, 2020.
  5. ^ Ritman, Alex (February 7, 2019). "Casey Affleck Sets 'World to Come' With Production Banner". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  6. ^ Kirby, Vanessa (September 13, 2019). "Thank you for having us Romania, we have loved you SO much🇷🇴🇷🇴🇷🇴 And also biggest love to the amazing @alexandra.tinjala and the brilliant and important work she does @ourbigdayout". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 25, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Lux Artists (September 16, 2019). "THE WORLD TO COME: DoP Andre Chemetoff gives us some peeks of him shooting Director Mona Fastvold's latest feature, THE WORLD TO COME. Based on Jim Shepard's award-winning novel of the same title, produced by Sea Change Media and starring Vanessa Kirby, Katherine Waterston and ⁠Casey Affleck. 📸 Jean Vincent Puzos". Archived from the original on December 25, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  8. ^ "Biennale Cinema 2020 | The World To Come". La Biennale di Venezia. July 17, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Romney, Jonathan (September 6, 2020). "'The World To Come': Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  10. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (July 28, 2020). "Venice Film Festival 2020: Competition Light On Studios, Strong On Global Arthouse & Women Directors – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  11. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (September 17, 2020). "Bleecker Street Nabs Venice Breakout 'The World to Come' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  12. ^ Tutt, Louise (September 6, 2020). "'The World To Come' director Mona Fastvold on shooting four seasons in 24 days". Screen International. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  13. ^ "The World to Come". Atom Tickets. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  14. ^ Richardson, Hollie; Wong, Henry; Virtue, Graeme; Wardell, Simon (March 6, 2022). "TV tonight". the Guardian. Retrieved March 7, 2022. The World to Come, 12.20pm, 8pm Sky Cinema Premiere
  15. ^ "The World to Come (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. February 12, 2021. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "The World to Come Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 26, 2021.

External links edit