This writer saw several films that verged on greatness at the Venice Film Festival this year, but none quite blew us away like Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights." We'd liked "Red Road," and greatly admired "Fish Tank," but her new film, an adaptation of Emily Brontë's literary classic, is really something special, a masterly reinvention of a great tale, with the year's best lensing, courtesy of Robbie Ryan and a true command of cinema, taking on Terrence Malick at his own game and, against the thematically similar "Tree of Life" at least, winning.
The film got picked up out of Toronto by Oscilloscope Pictures last week, so it looks like U.S. audiences will be seeing it before too long, but your first look at the film has arrived courtesy of the British distributor Artificial Eye, and The Guardian. As you'll see, it's instantly recognizable as an Arnold film, with the same Academy ratio look as "Fish Tank," and those expecting a staid period drama are likely to be surprised, even if the film's real savagery is being kept under wraps -- considering it makes Cary Fukunaga's "Jane Eyre" from earlier in the year look like "Sense & Sensibility," its probably a smart marketing move.
We're not sure this quite captures the real sweep of Arnold's film, but it is only a teaser trailer, and it will inevitably look better on a big screen, or at least in HD. The film hits the U.K. on November 11th shortly after playing the BFI London Film Festival, and Oscilloscope will release it in the U.S sometime in 2012.