Love Saoirse Ronan? Love when she's in heartbreaking and confusing period pieces? Love Ian McEwan's nasty habit of exploring deeply uncomfortable subjects? Meet On Chesil Beach, the highly-anticipated adaptation of McEwan's novel of the same name. The movie stars Ronan, America's favorite future potential Oscar winner, and Billy Howle, a British actor who appeared in Dunkirk. In the film, Howle and Ronan play a young married couple who grapple with the perils of intimacy on their wedding night. (Their wedding night takes place on Chesil Beach, as the title suggests.)
The full trailer, which drops today, is a vision in McEwan-esque filmmaking. There are startling color palettes, confusing interpersonal relations, and hints of a class struggle. Howle plays Edward Mayhew, a graduate student of history from a more rough-and-tumble background than Ronan's character Florence Ponting, a violinist in a string quartet. As per the trailer, Edward is prone to having "mends" at the knee of his pants, and he's not, as Florence's father puts it, "one of us." The courtship, detailed in the movie, leads back to the eye of the storm: Chesil Beach, where the final showdown takes place. ("Have you actually forgotten that we were married today?" Edward yells at a forlorn Florence.)
This is Ronan's second time appearing in a McEwan adaptation, having starred in Atonement in 2007. Ronan earned an Oscar nomination for her role as the troublesome tween Briony, and the movie itself won the Oscar for Best Original Score. Tense period dramas also tend to do well by Ronan: She was also previously nominated for an Oscar for her role in Brooklyn, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín.
On Chesil Beach was directed by Dominic Cooke, and will arrive in theaters May 18. Watch the full trailer, below.
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