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In the first trailer for I’m Thinking of Ending Things, the latest project from Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind writer Charlie Kaufman, winter is coming, and it may never end for one woman.
The Oscar winner’s first work as a writer-director since 2015’s Anomolisa and first for Netflix, follows a young woman, played by Chernobyl star Jessie Buckley, as she makes a trip with her boyfriend, Jake (Jesse Plemons), to his family’s farm. They haven’t been dating long, but they’re going anyways to meet his parents for the first time. The only problem is, she wants out.
“We have a real connection,” the woman says via voiceover as she and her boyfriend drive down a snowy road. “A rare and intense attachment. I’ve never experienced anything where I get — I’m thinking of ending things.”
Immediately upon arriving at the house, she’s graced with her first of several profoundly odd interactions in the form of a very wet family dog that can’t stop shaking its coat. It’s a harbinger for what’s to come, as evidenced by the young woman’s introduction to Jake’s mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), in what can only be described as a confusingly unsettling exchange.
Something is off about Jake’s family, and as the young woman holds her tongue and her breath through each increasingly discomforting encounter, the reality around her seemingly begins to bend. What she wants to be a distant memory starts to blur with their actual past and present. After suddenly seeing herself replace Jake in a family photo, she glimpses his parents “as they were,” “as they will be,” and “after they’re gone” in various rooms and corners of the house.
Things take an even more head-spinning turn after the young woman is shown stopping at a roadside stand in the middle of a snow flurry. As she begins to walk away, the girl serving her says, “You don’t have to go.”
When Buckley’s character asks, “Where?” she gets the strangely chilling reply, “Forward.”
“People like to think of themselves as points moving through time, but I think it’s the opposite,” the young woman says as ominous music plays over jumbled sequences. “We’re stationary, and time passes through us.”
Based on Iain Reid’s bestselling novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things will hit Netflix on Sept. 4.
Watch the trailer below.
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