NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Kirkus Reviews (by David Rapp).
As the holiday season approaches, keep an eye out for our in-depth columns on Leave the World Behind, a Netflix movie version of Rumaan Alam’s Kirkus-starred novel, starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke (premiering on Dec. 8), and American Fiction, a theatrical film adaptation of Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, starring Jeffrey Wright (in wide release on Dec. 22). In the meantime, here are four other book-to-screen adaptations coming in December:
Dec. 1: Eileen (theatrical film premiere)
This film version of Ottessa Moshfegh’s Kirkus-starred 2015 debut novel is directed by Lady Macbeth’s William Oldroyd and stars Jojo Rabbit’s Thomasin McKenzie in the prickly title role. The noirish novel, set in 1964, tells the story of Eileen Dunlop, a bored, depressed, and curmudgeonly 20-something secretary at a boys’ prison in an unnamed New England town. She lives with her difficult, alcoholic father, has no friends, and harbors vague fantasies of escaping her humdrum life and running away to New York City. Her life changes forever after she becomes infatuated with Rebecca Saint John, the new prison psychiatrist, who sets her on a very dark path. In the book, an elderly Eileen recollects the story from decades in the future, frequently hinting at a cataclysmic event that awaits her younger self. Her cutting, captivating voice is the best part of the novel, and, hopefully, the movie will retain it. In any case, McKenzie’s performance as the younger Eileen is sure to be a standout, and Anne Hathaway, as the mysterious Rebecca, and Homecoming’s Shea Whigham, as Eileen’s awful dad, can be counted on to keep things interesting.
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