Since her memorable breakout role in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” rocked Sundance in 2015, British actress Olivia Cooke has filled her resume with a bevy of highbrow and intriguing projects. In 2017, she returned to Sundance in Cry Finley’s “Thoroughbreds,” where she was electric as a troubled Connecticut rich girl with an axe to grind. She also landed a plum role in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” and thrilled critics with her portrayal of ambitious and scheming Becky Sharp in the latest TV mini-series of William Makepeace Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair.”
Now, she takes on another mature and intense role in Wayne Roberts’ feature directorial debut, “Katie Says Goodbye.” The film follows a small town waitress who is mistreated by nearly everyone in her life — from her abusive mother (a terrifying Mireille Enos) to a seemingly never-ending string of men who pay her for sexual acts — but who manages to approach everything with a kindness that borders on mania. When ex-con Bruno (Christopher Abbott) arrives in town, good-hearted Katie pins all her hopes on him and her continued dream of running away to San Francisco.
Per the official synopsis: “As Katie draws closer to saving the money necessary for her departure, the delicate harmony of her small town slowly begins to crumble and the townsfolk begin to take advantage of her innate kindness. In the end, Katie must either accept her lot and stay in the destitute town she was born into, or pursue a new life despite losing everything to those she loved and trusted.”
In addition to three anchoring performances from Cooke, Abbott, and Enos, “Katie Says Goodbye” features a rare dramatic turn from Jim Belushi, as well as the talents of Mary Steenburgen, Nate Corddry (“Mindhunter”), Chris Lowell (“GLOW”), and Keir Gilchrist (“Atypical”).
Abbott is best known to wider audiences for his breakout role in “Girls,” but cinephiles know he has indie bona fides from roles in Josh Mond’s “James White,” Trey Edward Shults’ “It Comes at Night,” and Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux.” He is currently starring opposite George Clooney in Hulu’s “Catch 22” mini-series, which is executive produced by Clooney.
Vertical Entertainment will release “Katie Says Goodbye” in theaters and VOD on June 7. Check out IndieWire’s exclusive trailer below, along with the film’s first poster.