Twenty seventeen may prove to be something of a watershed year for female film directors, and that conversation isn’t complete without Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here. The Scottish director’s first film since 2011’s chilling We Need to Talk About Kevin took the Cannes Film Festival by storm. It netted star Joaquin Phoenix a best actor award while Ramsay herself took home best screenplay (all the more notable in a year when the best director trophy went to a woman as well— Sofia Coppola).
Some may consider the film a bit too violent for Oscars glory, but Ramsay is clearly an ascendant filmmaker hitting her prime and certainly worth keeping in any awards conversation. After all, the Los Angeles Times review of the film called her “one of our most fearless and forceful filmmakers,” while Variety dubbed her the “greatest working filmmaker not to work often enough.” (Her first second film, Morvern Callar with Samantha Morton is considered a cult classic.)
As for the bleak subject matter that may still serve to turn mainstream Hollywood sensibilities off, well, Phoenix plays a depressed war veteran and an ex-F.B.I. agent who now makes a living as a contract killer and also happens to rescue girls from the sex trade. He’s charged with rescuing the daughter of a state senator, and, well, things get out of hand from there.
The hypnotic soundtrack, by the way, is provided by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood, whose previous film credits include There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice.
Amazon picked up the film for domestic release, and still hasn’t announced when it will be rolled out in America (which may mean it may not even get a chance at awards season consideration). An international release, however, is set for November.
Related: The Agony and the Ecstasy
Mark Ruffalo Explains His Man-Crush on Joaquin Phoenix: