The Unforgivable: Sandra Bullock stars as a “heinous” ex-con in the trailer for this new Netflix thriller

The Unforgivable: Sandra Bullock stars as a “heinous” ex-con in the trailer for this Netflix thriller

Posted by for Film

Be sure to go into Sandra Bullock’s new Netflix thriller, The Unforgivable, expecting a lot of hatred, anger, sorrow, and maybe – just maybe – the hope of redemption. 

Sandra Bullock is one of those actors we can’t help but fall in love with, no matter what movie she’s in. From The Blind Side to Miss Congeniality, Ocean’s 8 to Gravity, she 100% owns every single role she’s ever taken on – so you better believe that we’re excited for her new Netflix thriller.

Here’s what you need to know, then, about The Unforgivable.

What’s the plot of The Unforgivable?

“Released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime, Ruth Slater re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past,” promises the film’s official synopsis.

“Facing severe judgement from the place she once called home, her only hope for redemption is finding the estranged younger sister she was forced to leave behind.”

As if that weren’t enough to pique your interest, it’s worth noting that there’s far more to Ruth’s backstory than anyone might realise.

Indeed, Bullock – who is also producing the film – has teased: “Finding out the background to the story of why she did what she did is sort of the whodunnit of this. “It’s a murder mystery within a very complex character drama.”

And now Netflix have released the gritty and gripping trailer for The Unforgiveable. Check it out:

The scene opens with Ruth (Bullock) receiving an ominous phone call while in prison. “You’re gonna pay for what you did,” warns the voice at the end of the line.

We quickly learn that she’s served a 20-year sentence for “killing somebody in cold blood”.

“Was it an accident?” she’s asked. She replies by shaking her head.

Struggling to re-adjust to life as “a convict wherever goes”, Ruth clings to the hope of reconnection with her younger sister, Katie, something her adopted mother (Viola Davis) isn’t keen on.

That’s when we learn the true nature of Ruth’s “unforgivable” crime: she killed a police officer.

But is there more to the story than meets the eye? And can you ever find redemption after the unforgivable?

Early reactions to the trailer are overwhelmingly positive, with one user commenting beneath it: “Wow this trailer gave me chills, I want to watch this right now. So many talented actors. The cinematography, the score, and the story all are A one.”

Another added: “Gosh, had goosebumps while watching this trailer. The cast is incredible.”

Praising Bullock’s raw performance, a third wrote: “I would watch anything with Sandra. She’s bloody brilliant. Comedy, drama, action, thriller, romance - she kills it every time!”

High praise, indeed.

Who stars in The Unforgivable?

Bullock is, as mentioned already, taking the lead in this one as ex-con Ruth. The film also stars the inimitable Viola Davis, Richard Thomas, Linda Emond, Aisling Franciosi, Jon Bernthal, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Rob Morgan.

Emma Nelson, Will Pullen, and Thomas Guiry round off the starry cast nicely.

Viola Davis on the red carpet
Viola Davis will star alongside Sandra Bullock in Netflix’s The Unforgivable.

What are people saying about The Unforgivable?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bullock has promised that her character – who has been incarcerated for 20 years for a “pretty heinous crime” – is likely to prove an incredibly difficult one for viewers to empathise with.

“There are several people whose lives she affected by this crime she committed, and there’s a lot of hatred and anger and bitterness and sorrow associated with her release,” explains Bullock. 

“She wants to find this one person, the only family she had when she went in, and you keep asking yourself, ‘Why can’t you let it go? This family member was traumatised by your actions – let it go! Stop harming these people all over again.’”

Sandra Bullock in profile
Sandra Bullock says that her character is difficult to empathise with in The Unforgivable.

Director Nora Fingscheidt, meanwhile, has said that she hopes The Unforgivable will help build a greater sense of empathy among viewers.

“I would love that they might reconsider their judgement of people who are outside the society, people who are massively disadvantaged because of their past,” she says.

“I think it’s worth sometimes taking a second look,” continues Fingscheidt. “It’s not so easy to reenter society. You might change in prison after 20 years quite a lot, but for the majority out there you’re still a prisoner and you will live with that forever. It’s really worth looking into details and giving people second chances. 

“That is what I was thinking about a lot.”

When can we watch The Unforgivable?

The Unforgivable will become available for streaming via Netflix on 10 December.

Will you be watching?

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Images: Netflix/Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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