Lady Gaga went from rags to riches in A Star Is Born, Natalie Portman portrayed the narcissistic pop voice of her generation in Vox Lux, and now it’s Elisabeth Moss‘s turn to tackle the traumas of self-destructive superstar musicians in Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell.
In Her Smell, Moss plays Becky Something, a troubled lead singer and guitarist for an early-90s riot grrrl trio called Something She (complete with GLOW‘s Gayle Rankin and the scene-stealing Agyness Deyn as her bandmates). Dan Stevens co-stars as Becky’s on-again-off-again love interest and father of her young daughter, and Amber Heard plays a shunned former bandmate turned pop supernova. When the head of Something She’s label (played by Eric Stoltz) brings up a new, poppier trio—with Cara Delevingne on the drums, Ashley Benson on the guitar, and Dylan Gelula on the bass—Becky fears the younger generation is trying to take her place in the industry as her personal demons and addictions take hold.
Before the film’s world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018, a short teaser was released, in which an almost-demonic Becky is running two hours late for her band’s performance on stage. It was shot with a singular tracking shot that captures the mania and chaos Moss brings to the lead singer before she hits rock bottom, but the film’s first official trailer provides a more comprehensive peak at the rise and fall of the fictional rock star, who Moss plays as some sort of combination of Hole-era Courtney Love and Jim Morrison, and an inkling of Moss’s vocal and guitar-strumming abilities.
Her Smell marks the third collaboration between Perry and Moss (she previously starred in the director’s 2014 film Listen Up Philip and followed it up the next year with Queen of Earth), and hopefully it won’t be the last.