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English writer-director Andrea Arnold has stunned and stirred critics, first with her BAFTA-winning thriller Red Road then with her bleak and breathtaking coming-of-age drama Fish Tank. Already her adaptation of Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights has won accolades from British critics as well as praise at the Venice Film Festival, and now Oscilloscope Pictures is bringing it Stateside.
Kaya Scodelario of the UK series Skins stars as Catherine Earnshaw, a fiery but fickle young woman who has a mercurial relationship with orphan turned brute Heathcliff, played here by newcomer James Howson, who won the role after a year-long casting process that included open call auditions. Does the pair share the kind of chemistry that has made Catherine and Heathcliff literary and romantic icons for more than 150 years? Take a peek at the drama's new trailer:
I must admit: despite being a voracious reader and dedicated bookworm, I found Wuthering Heights to be an utter slog when it was assigned to me in high school. And yet, this trailer intrigues me. In part because it seems to discard the traditional adaptation route, 1) by making Heathcliff a person of color, and 2) by wallowing in an atmospheric nature over selling the pic on swelling orchestral scores and high drama moments that are typically touted in period pieces.
Instead, there's something dark and dangerous at play here, which is exactly what Arnold delivered in Fish Bowl. Basically, I think this pic will be a disappointment to students hoping to use it as Cliff Notes, but could prove heady and impactful to the rest of us.
Wuthering Heights opens in New York on October 5th, and Los Angeles on October 12th.