The World to Come - Vanessa Kirby, Katherine Waterston, Christopher Abbott (film)

In this powerful 19th century romance set in the American Northeast, Abigail, a farmer's wife, and her new neighbor Tallie find themselves irrevocably drawn to each other. A grieving Abigail tends to her withdrawn husband Dyer as free spirit Tallie bristles at the jealous control of

The World to Come

 

In 1856 in Schoharie County, Abigail and Dyer live an isolated life in the country working as farmers. They are both devastated by the recent loss of their young daughter Nellie.

 

A new similarly childless couple moves in beside them. Abigail is immediately entranced by Tallie, the wife, and the two women form a quick and deep friendship. Abigail confides to Tallie that her marriage with Dyer is based on practicality, not romance while Tallie reveals that her husband Finney can be quarrelsome and controlling.

 

For Abigail's birthday Tallie buys her an atlas that she had longed for. When Tallie is returning home from the birthday visit she is caught in a storm that nearly kills her. Her husband takes her away to recuperate, and when she returns it is spring and Tallie resumes her visits to Abigail.

 

Eventually Tallie reveals to Abigail that she only dreams of being with her. Abigail feels similarly and the two kiss. They begin a sexual affair. Dyer, who has become increasingly emotional since their child's death, is upset of the time that Abigail spends with Tallie. Tallie's husband becomes similarly jealous of the hours she is spending away from him.

 

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Finney eventually asks Abigail and Dyer to dinner where he uncomfortably brings up their lost child and Abigail notices bruises on Tallie's neck. Finney tells a morbid story about holding his disobedient dog outside until it froze to death. Afterwards Tallie doesn't visit for a week. Abigail finally goes in search of her and finds her rented house empty with only a bloody kerchief left behind. Though she suspects mischief, she eventually receives a letter from Tallie informing her she has moved 85 miles away to the Skaneateles area of Onondaga County.

 

Abigail insists on going to see Tallie and Dyer reluctantly complies. However by the time they arrive Tallie is dead. Finney claims it is from diphtheria, but a flashback reveals Finney holding and dancing with Tallie until she collapsed.

 

Abigail returns to her life on the farm. She and Dyer continue to work together but grow more emotionally estranged. To comfort herself, Abigail imagines murdering Finney one day and tries to picture Nellie and Tallie comforting themselves in the afterlife. When Dyer asks her to imagine anything she can do to ease their longing, Abigail begins to imagine Tallie in his place.

 

Directors          Mona Fastvold

Starring           Vanessa Kirby, Katherine Waterston, Christopher Abbott

Genres            Drama, Romance

Release           2021


David Priest

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