This mid-19th Century tale of forbidden romance can be striking from a visual sense but tedious from a narrative one where dialogue can seem awkward at times.
Being inspired to emerge from a repressed state is noticeable in The World To Come presented as a polished period drama from Norway’s Mona Fastvold.
A wintry feel is clearly felt in upstate New York where Abigail (Katherine Waterston) and Dyer (Casey Affleck) softly mourn the passing of their young daughter t their remote farm.
With spring’s onset, opportunity arrives in the new neighbor Tallie (Vanessa Kirby) who’s to a nearby farm leased with spouse Finney (Christopher Abbott).
Having to keep their meetings on the QT is important to Abigail swirling with emotion but nonplussed, too, considering how she considers her romantic life with Dyer.
Plenty of narration from her lyrical diaries as a contrast to her behavior as a contrast begins to play against Tallie’s sophisticated candor. Unlike the soulful beauty of Portrait of a Lady on Fire the constraint around the acknowledgement of how to handle their situation dulls the ardor that blossoms behind closed doors.
Where this is going may have a more jagged than truthfulness about it as the articulation comes on pretty strong. When transposed with the way the filmmakers perceive how restrained this existence happens to be.
The sense of not belonging is evinced by Affleck (Our Friend) and a more pungent, also callous Abbott (Hello I Must Be Going). But, Kirby (so adept in Pieces of a Woman) and notably Waterston (son of Sam and of Inherent Vice and Logan Lucky) provide occasional spark of something that just is too dour for its progenitor’s thematic and cannily clandestine sensibility.