starring Thomasin McKenzie, Anne Hathaway, Shea Whigham, Marin Ireland
written by Luke Goebel & Ottessa Moshfegh, based on the novel by Ottessa Moshfegh
directed by William Oldroyd
by Angelo Muredda Thomasin McKenzie gives the armpit-sniffing Mary Katherine Gallagher a run for her money as the eponymous weirdo loner in William Oldroyd's Eileen, an admirably icky take on the Ottessa Moshfegh novel of the same name, adapted by the author and her partner, Luke Goebel. An awkward, horned-up femcel, Moshfegh's Eileen is the kind of ostensibly normal but secretly maladjusted creep you'd find in a Patricia Highsmith novel--as relatable as she is perverse. While Highsmith's work has lent itself to any number of successful treatments (including Carol, the film this one most closely resembles in its melding of pulp and queer desire), Moshfegh's text is less of an obvious sell for the movies, fixated as it is on its protagonist's unruly gut feelings, which frequently extend to her actual bowel movements. While Eileen, with its lovingly upholstered retro-1960s aesthetic, is a tidier affair than the novel, it's to Oldroyd's credit that he realizes something of its shabby outlook on the human experience, where violence is your best, if not only, ticket out of your crummy small-town New England existence.