In the stark cold of December, Netflix will premiere director Sebastián Lelio‘s latest psychological thriller The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh. Adapted from the novel by Room author Emma Donoghue, The Wonder is based on the bizarre phenomenon of the “Fasting Girls” in the 1800s. The newly released first-look images and poster art reveal the bleak landscape of a remote 19th century Ireland town where Pugh‘s character is assigned the task of observing a young girl.
Reportedly, in the film, 11-year-old Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy) has refused to eat over the course of several months, yet remains alert and healthy. Nurse Lib Wright (Pugh) believes she’s been sent to this isolated community get to the bottom of the peculiar condition, but as the two grow closer and the days wear on, Lib begins to wonder if something more sinister is taking place. The gripping period piece explores the dangerous line toed between religious miracle and scientific fact, and teeters on the edge of a quiet, creeping horror according to Collider‘s TIFF review.
The first-look images showcase Lelio‘s use of light and shadow, and the immensity of the Irish moors around them. From the pictures alone the starkness of the landscape itself becomes a character of the film. In one photo we see Tom Burke‘s character, Will Byrne, carrying Anna across the hilly terrain, with Lib guiding them in what appears to be an urgent moment of the film. Set against a gunmetal gray sky, the images look cold and grayscale, and give off an isolated, claustrophobic feel.
The stills show a foreboding counsel of dire-looking men, with Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger) playing Dr. McBrearty, Dermot Crowley (Luther) as Sir Otway, and Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones) as Father Thaddeus. The helpless fate of the young Anna appears to be in the hands of these dour men, and because dour men famously have a habit of posing a threat to the wellbeing of young women since the dawn of time, these images are all the more unsettling. Some of the photos show Pugh interacting with Lelio onset, and the poster zeroes the focus in on Pugh‘s character and her relationship with her charge Anna.
The film also stars Niamh Algar, Elaine Cassidy, David Wilmot, Brían F. O’Byrne, Josie Walker and Caolan Byrne. The screenplay for The Wonder is penned by Lady MacBeth writer Alice Birch, reuniting her with actress Pugh who starred in the film. Lelio, whose stylistic touch made 2017’s Disobedience tense and heartbreaking, directs. Donoghue serves as executive producer alongside Danny Cohen and Len Blavatnik.
Following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Wonder will release to select theaters and Netflix in December. You can see the rest of the images below:
Image via Netflix