Are you sitting down? If not, you may want to loosen your corset a few inches because the trailer for The World to Come, starring Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), has just dropped and it is the newest installation in the burgeoning sapphic period piece oeuvre. Bless this hearth and home.
The World to Come was directed by Mona Fastvold (The Sleepwalker), and tells the story of two queer women, Tally (Kirby) and Abigail (Waterson) in 19th century America as they deal with the challenges of pioneer life. It features everything we adore about clandestine lesbian love stories: furtive glances over the fireplace, stolen kisses in the barn, and tender makeout sessions among autumn leaves. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Waterson cites Anne Lister’s diaries as a point of inspiration, and noted that her character Abigail “is a woman whose life was never really her own to choose in any way.” Falling in love with Tally becomes one of Abigail’s only ways to express her agency.
Although fronteering presents its own hardships, their husbands, played by Casey Affleck and Christopher Abbott, unsurprisingly serve as the movie’s main antagonists. The trailer makes it clear that the danger doesn’t just come from the harsh winters and isolating environment, it comes from forbidden love.
The film first premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival to rave acclaim, and won the Queer Lion award for best LGBTQ film. It was also screened at the virtual Sundance Film Festival as it awaited wider distribution. The World to Come is coming to a limited theater release on February 12, and will be available on demand on March 2 through Bleecker Street Films. Check out the trailer below.