“What if there’s no such thing as happiness, just moments of not being depressed?” So asks Jane, played by Sally Hawkins, in the film “Eternal Beauty.” Recently dumped at the altar, Jane is having a rough go of things, spiraling into a chaotic world where love and relationships, both real and imagined, collide. IndieWire shares the exclusive first trailer for the film, arriving on VOD from Samuel Goldwyn Films, on October 2 below.
“Eternal Beauty” is directed by Craig Roberts, the young English actor best known for the films “Submarine,” “Neighbors,” and “The Fundamentals of Caring.” But he also starred in, and directed, 2015’s “Just Jim,” and it was in the edit on that coming-of-age film that Roberts came up with the character of Jane, a paranoid schizophrenic with mommy issues who stops taking her medication.
He sent the script to Sally Hawkins, who first had to complete filming on “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro’s 2017 film that earned Hawkins a Best Actress Oscar nomination. (Hawkins has also been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Blue Jasmine.”) Roberts has credited his inspirations as coming from such filmmakers as Paul Thomas Anderson, Michel Gondry, Wes Anderson, Ingmar Bergman, and Charlie Kaufman.
“Most movies that I’ve seen that tackle mental health or mental health issues, the protagonists are always the victim, or they’re deranged and possessed and it’s a horror film,” said Roberts. “I wanted to flip it…I wanted to take this psychological element of it, and go, ‘this maybe isn’t a weakness. Maybe it’s a superpower.’”
Also written by Roberts, “Eternal Beauty” co-stars David Thewlis (up next in Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”), Billie Piper, Penelope Wilton, and Alice Lowe. The film premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, where it earned positive reviews. The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “To Roberts’ credit, his script manages to build up a narrative that has a shape and heft to it and doesn’t just feel like pages of a psych manual. ‘Eternal Beauty’ is almost as much a story about a dysfunctional unhappy family as it is about one of the few likeable members in that family, and the strong ensemble keeps the comedy buoyant throughout.”