The Kitchen may be the strangest project coming out in 2019. Similar in plot to last year’s fabulous Widows, and based on a beloved graphic novel of the same name, The Kitchen has chosen to fill its gritty crime epic with popular comedic actresses. Will this experiment end up working, or will it be a complete tonal mismatch? Nobody knows for sure yet, but the trailer seems to, thankfully, imply the former.
It’s the 1970s, and a group of wives in Hell’s Kitchen are facing a troubling dilemma. Their husbands, powerful leaders of the Irish mob, have been arrested by the FBI, and look to be off the streets for months, if not years. Left without a source of income and in desperate need of protection, the women, including Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy), Claire Walsh (Elisabeth Moss), and Ruby O’Carroll (Tiffany Haddish), team up to take over their husbands’ organizations and rise to become one of the strongest gangs in the city.
From the minute this film was announced, pundits realized that there were ten million ways that this film could go. It could be an Oscar contender (I’ve predicted as much in my first round of guesses). It could be a big, huge, embarrassing failure. It could be a critical hit that flops at the box office. It could be a critical bomb that scores big at the box office. It could be one of those August films that people talk about for months and then is promptly forgotten, like The Butler. And unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), this trailer does very little to assuage fears. It’s pretty solid all around, featuring strong performances from its three leads (Moss is coming down to the comedic level of the other two, who rise to meet her dramatically), solid direction, and a general sense of Scorsese-esque magic (there’s a Rolling Stones song, for God’s sake). However, watching the trailer, I can’t help but think to myself, “Is this really an Oscar contender?” I’m not sure I can answer either way. I guess time will tell. The Kitchen is directed by Academy-Award nominated writer Andrea Berloff in her directorial debut, and will be released August 9th. You can watch the trailer below.