Bleecker Street has released the On Chesil Beach trailer. The upcoming romance stars Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle as a young couple in 1962 England who find their relationship challenged by societal mores and sexual pressure. The movie premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, but failed to make much of a splash, and from this trailer, it’s not difficult to see why.
Even though Ronan is an excellent actress, even the trailer for this movie seems to be struggling to find what’s exciting in the story. It may have worked better on the page and perhaps it makes more sense in the movie, but trying to convey both societal pressures (she’s rich, he’s poor) and then blending it with sexual pressure seems like the story can’t find a strong central conflict, and so it’s dividing its attention between two. That wouldn’t necessarily be terrible except the trailer still can’t seem to find much drama there. When one of the big dramatic beats of your trailer is someone knocking over a table, you may not be in for the most riveting time at the cinema.
Check out the On Chesil Beach trailer below. The film opens on May 18th.
Here’s the official synopsis for On Chesil Beach:
Based on Ian McEwan’s bestseller. In England in 1962, a young couple finds their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.
And here’s the synopsis for McEwan’s novel, which provides a few more details:
It is 1962, and Florence and Edward are celebrating their wedding in a hotel on the Dorset coast. Yet as they dine, the expectation of their marital duties become overwhelming. Unbeknownst to them both, the decisions they make this night will resonate throughout their lives. With exquisite prose, Ian McEwan creates in On Chesil Beach a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.