It takes a lot to revive a literary classic, with a number of approaches being utilized in recent years. Change the character’s race (“Wuthering Heights“)! Have it set on a grand stage (“Anna Karenina“)! Turn it into a 3D video game (“The Great Gatsby“)! But sometimes the best approach is a more classical one, which seems to be the path that Charlie Stratton chose when adapting Émile Zola‘s “Thérèse Raquin” for the big screen as “Therese.” The adaptation, starring Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton, Oscar Isaac, and Jessica Lange, premieres as part of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and has just debuted the first clip as well as a couple of new photos.
Olsen plays the titular Therese, who is stuck in a loveless marriage to a local drip (Felton) and begins an illicit affair with an old friend of her husband’s (Isaac). Lange plays Therese’s overbearing aunt. In the brief scene we see Felton bringing his friend to the house and having Lange not recognize him. Olsen is viewable only in the background of the scene, which is how her character is often described in the novel, tucked away into shadows or behind countertops.
The scene is too brief (and, quite frankly, dimly lit) to get a good indication of what the film as a whole will be like, although the cast is beyond promising and the source material, released in 1867, is something of a prototypical erotic thriller, much like the genre we enjoy today (except with way more layers of clothing). If anybody can pull of a sweaty, torrid affair, it’s Olsen and Isaac.