Debut screenwriter Julia Hart and director Daniel Barber give the American Western a powerful feminist revision in “The Keeping Room,” starring Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Sam Worthington and newcomer Muna Otaru. The film premiered to critical acclaim at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and was a hot commodity on last year’s festival circuit.
Set in the rural South of 1865, the drama unfolds in the final moments of the Civil War, as northern troops progress towards victory. But those events take place well beyond the awareness of the three women at its center: Augusta (Marling), her teenage sister Louise (Steinfeld) and their slave Mad (Otaru). As all the men in their lives vanished long ago on the battlefield, the women exist in a static world, waiting for a salvation that they’ve started to realize will never come. But when Augusta rides in to town and catches the attention of two Union Army deserters, the three women must protect their home at all costs.
The debut trailer above, courtesy of Yahoo! Movies, shows off the film’s impressive ensemble and suspenseful action set piece. “The Keeping Room” hits select theaters September 25.