Thoroughbreds was released early last year as Thoroughbred at Sundance Festival, with a general release set this coming March. It features Olivia Cooke (star of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and the upcoming film Ready Player One) and Anya Taylor-Joy (star of the horror films The Witch and Split) as two “thoroughbreds” – two privileged girls with opposing personalities who decide to take a matter (killing an oppressive stepfather) into their own hands as they rekindle their childhood friendship.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but from the trailers that have been released and some articles that have commented on the Sundance release, it looks to be an amazingly awkward black comedy about how, as the trailers say, “good breeding goes bad.” That already sounds pretty awesome, since we know how far rich people can go from all those older novels.
There’s definitely a hitman who experiences remorse, and some well-timed comedic moments on normally sensitive subject matter like chemotherapy. The girls look to be the type of people that you’d be fascinated to follow the lives of but would be a little cautious about befriending on a personal level.
And that’s just scratching the surface of Thoroughbreds. Here are a few more reasons we’re excited to watch the film when it premieres in just a couple of months.
The two leads will draw you in
I’m not sure who makes up the entire cast of Thoroughbreds, but it looks like there’ll be four main characters: the two female leads, the stepdad or corpse-to-be, and the hitman who, judging by his sniffling in one of the trailers, probably hasn’t had experience being a hitman before.
Yet even with only four main characters, Thoroughbreds looks to be a great character study, especially in the case of the two leads.
Taylor-Joy and Cooke play Lily and Amanda, respectively, and they play girls with opposite personalities.
Lily, who’s a high-class socialite and boarding-school attendee with an overbearing stepdad, feels everything but seems to hold it all in. Amanda, who’s now a sociopath, feels nothing but at least she expresses she feels nothing. They were childhood friends once, and they both live in luxury.
Thoroughbreds looks to be an exploration of what can happen to people who are characterized by those backgrounds and personalities, though this may be a tad exaggerated for the film. The girls have some issues, and they’re also rich. That commonality brings them closer together.
It also sets some pretty interesting ground for the movie, since the girls are now two lovable weirdos (“oh, affluent people!” we might want to say) who simply want to off a source of oppression.
Whether or not that actually happens, the premise of two entitled teenagers thinking they should kill off a step parent, and, based on the trailers, quite possibly botching it or otherwise handling it in a way we wouldn’t expect, is a pretty interesting yet plausibly real take on the rebellious phase of a teenager.
The fact that it’s black comedy, too, instead of a completely serious take on teenage issues like in Riverdale (though we still love you, Riverdale!) offers a refreshing change of pace to – and perhaps pokes fun at – some of the more gritty shows and films that have come out in recent years.
It’s the first film directed by a promising young director
Thoroughbreds director Cory Finley may have been trained as a playwright, but he changed course to a recorded medium for this film. Thoroughbreds is the first film Finley has directed, but it’s managed to snag him a lot of attention, quite a feat for a director still under 30.
His film has succeeded in being noticed by film critics, being chosen to play at Sundance Film Festival, and drawing the attention of film distribution companies like The Orchard and Netflix.
In the end, Focus Features (distributor of films including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hot Fuzz, and Coraline) got the deal, and Thoroughbreds is set to be released nationwide.
With such a great debut coming up, I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of his work unfolds.
Until then, we’re excited to see the theater debut of Thoroughbreds.
Thoroughbreds will be released March 9, 2018 in the UK and the United States.
Image credits: June Pictures, B Story, Big Indie Pictures