In 2014, Jennifer Kent exploded onto the scene with the moody, intelligent horror film The Babadook. Critics have debated for half a decade now if Kent’s follow-up would manage to propel her into the awards race. With news out of the 75th Venice Film Festival reporting that her newest film, The Nightingale, is a hit, and the newest trailer stunning audiences with its stark, brutal beauty, I’m still willing to bet she has a decent shot at a nomination.
In 1825 Tasmania, Irish convict Claire (Aisling Franciosi) finds her life horrifically upended. Her husband and infant murdered by British Officer Hawkins (Sam Claflin), who also assaulted her before leaving, Claire finds her case ignored by an unjust British order. Left with few other options, Claire hires Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), an Aboriginal tracker, to help her cross the hellish wilderness on a mission to find Hawkins and end his monstrous life.
In my Best Picture predictions a few months ago, I marked this film as a potential Best Picture nominee, filling the dark indie spot that appears every few years. And based on the strength of this trailer, I’d say I have a good chance of being right. This is a gorgeous, haunting trailer, and the performances of Franciosi and Ganambarr are so potent, you can feel their energy in this shortened format. This is definitely near the top of my Must Watch list, and is a strong contender for my Best Trailers of 2019 list. But don’t take my word for it. Watch the trailer for yourself below, and see the movie when it comes out August 2nd.