Kirsten Dunst is one of the most criminally underrated actresses working in Hollywood today.
Whenever I say that to anyone, their first reaction is to mention Spiderman. As the most high-profile and financially successful project of the actress’ career it’s easy to see why people would start there. But take one look at Dunst’s resumé and you’ll see a career full of eclectic projects; from her incendiary debut in Interview With the Vampire, to the little seen gem The Cat’s Meow all the way to season two of FX’s Fargo (for which the actress was Emmy nominated), she’s always brought her A-game. Her latest film, Woodshock, looks like her most batshit crazy effort yet, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Written and directed by the Rodarte sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy (best known for their costume work in Black Swan), Woodshock follows Theresa (Dunst) a woman who has just experienced the loss of her mother. The trailer doesn’t give us a whole lot to go on besides Theresa’s damaged emotional state, amplified by the effects of a “reality-altering potent cannabinoid drug,” which makes for some haunting and arresting imagery. Think The Tree of Life in the way of Tom Ford (A Single Man, not Nocturnal Animals… at least I hope not).
The film seems to rest on Dunst’s shoulders, which I’m entirely confident she’s capable of handling. She delivered perhaps one of the most searing, and accurate, portrayals of depression ever to grace the big screen in Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, one that ushered in a new wave of critical adoration for the actress, though didn’t bring her the Oscar nomination she deserved. As Peggy Bloomquist on Fargo, she proved that no role was too demanding for her, perfectly articulating the character’s mental illness without ever reducing her to a caricature, even while sporting a Minnesota accent and some late 70’s fashions. In Peggy, Dunst brought to life a truly complex woman who was a result of the constrictive circumstances of the time period. So while the visuals look absolutely enthralling, I’m most excited to see how the actress will go about bringing this character to life.
She also has her third collaboration with Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled (a remake of the 1971 original) premiering at Cannes ahead of a summer release. Co-starring Nicole Kidman, Collin Farrell and Elle Fanning, that film looks equally as crazy.
The film will be released on September 15, with distribution being handled by A24. Hot off of their Oscar success for Moonlight, they also have the buzzy horror film It Comes At Night dropping this summer. If there’s a distributor that can deliver the right kind of support to a film this weird and trippy, it’s definitely A24.
Watch the trailer below.