It had its world premiere at the 77th Venice International Film Festival on September 6, 2020, where it won the Queer Lion award for best LGBTQ-themed film at the festival. It was released in a limited release on February 12, 2021, followed by video on demand on March 2, 2021, by Bleecker Street.
Cast: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Casey Affleck, Christopher Abbott
The quiet, calm narration of Katherine Waterston’s Abigail carries the viewer through this period romance between two women in an isolated corner of New York during the 19th century. But for as meditative as her voice is, there’s a turmoil that rages through Mona Fastvold’s film like the storm that appears in the first act. At times, Daniel Blumberg’s magnificent score sounds like screams, and even in moments of peace there’s creeping anxiety. Abigail has resigned herself to a life of discontentment with her husband Dyer (Affleck) when their new neighbors Finney (Abbott) and Tallie (Kirby) arrive. Abigail and Tallie become fast friends. Tallie is worldly and self-assured, even as she steals away from her pompous spouse who has a violent streak. Their long afternoons talking turn into physical expressions of love, but Fastvold is less interested in how that may have been taboo in the era than in how the threat of isolation is always just around the corner for these women.