The first trailer for Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” has finally arrived. Adapted from the book by Iain Reid, it’s Kaufman’s first film behind the camera since 2015’s animated “Anomalisa” and stars Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis. Watch the trailer below.
In this surreal and melancholy study of loneliness that’s one of the fall’s must-see films, Buckley plays an unnamed woman who accompanies her boyfriend Jake (Plemons) on a road trip in a snowstorm to meet his parents (Collette and Thewlis) for dinner at their farmhouse. Six weeks into their courtship and Buckley’s character already has plans to break the relationship off but can’t bring herself to do so. Once they arrive at Jake’s parents house, events spiral into decidedly Kaufman territory as the woman begins to question her surroundings, her sanity, and the fabric of the world around her.
Kaufman also wrote the screenplay, marking his first time adapting others’ material since 2002’s “Adaptation” and “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” It’s safe to say this is no traditional adaptation, however. Kaufman is working for the first time with Lukasz Zal, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer of “Ida” and “Cold War,” shooting in the square Academy ratio. The movie, which would’ve played the festival circuit had the pandemic not shut events and venues down, premieres on Netflix September 4.
“I don’t set out to do a mindfuck,” Kaufman told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview. “I’m not setting out to do something that ‘tops’ some sort of brainteaser I might have done before. But there’s no question that I’m trying to build on the stuff that I’ve already done.”
Of Jessie Buckley, acclaimed for her turns in “Chernobyl” and “Wild Rose,” Kaufman said, “It was one of those things where you see somebody who’s not yet known, and you go, ‘Oh my God, I have to get this person’… She’s present with whatever is happening. Whatever she does, it’s real. It happens in reaction to the thing that she’s given.”
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is Academy Award-winning screenwriter Kaufman’s third time in the director’s chair, following “Synecdoche, New York” and “Anomalisa.” Currently, he’s promoting his debut novel, “Antkind,” about a curmudgeonly film critic that’s earning polarized reviews, and astounds, for some, with its length of 720 pages.
“Loneliness and hopelessness and regret — these are things that are part of the fabric of this film,” Kaufman said of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”