Olivia Wilde has taken her first foray into the world of directing and by the looks of things, we’re so glad she did.
It is, frankly, baffling that there is such a lack of opportunities for female directors, when the work of those who do manage to slip through the old patriarchal net is so damn good.
Greta Gerwig’s first solo directorial debut was Ladybird, a film that received the best ever rating on Rotten Tomatoes, glowing reviews from critics and captured the hearts of viewers (and more specifically, women) for its incredibly realistic depiction of the push and pull of a mother-daughter relationship. In fact, you can read why it was so life-changing right here.
Woman Wonder ruled the summer box office when it was released in 2017, becoming the first female-led film to cross the $800m mark, smashed records to become the highest-grossing superhero origin film of all time, and was also the world’s most successful live-action film ever directed by a woman – the talented Patty Jenkins.
And now we have Booksmart, a film helmed by Olivia Wilde, who has stepped away from acting and into the directorial limelight to create what looks like an absolute corker of a film, with an important narrative for young, queer women.
The official trailer for the film dropped yesterday (11 March), introducing best friends Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), who are just about to finish high school. After staying home to study, acing all of their exams and being accepted to the colleges they wanted, you might think they have no regrets – but you would be wrong.
On reflection, the pair reckon they’ve played things a little too safe, and only have a finite amount of time to “break some rules”. What unfolds is a mish-mash of hilarious scenes of attempted debauchery and a chance to break away from their straight-A image.
In the opening scene, we see Molly sat on her bedroom floor, meditating. As the camera pans around her room, we see all the trappings of a socially and politically engaged teenager in 2019, from the photos of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michelle Obama on her shelves, to the feminist poster on her wall.
The trailer continues to show Molly giving advice to Amy, encouraging her to talk to a girl at school: “Go talk to her. Do you know how many girls are going to be up your vagina next year? Every time I come to visit you, you’re going to be scissoring a different girl.”
Although we’ve only been given a two-minute glimpse, we can already see that Wilde has created something timely, hilarious and sensitive, and we can’t wait to see more.
And it’s not just us, the reaction on Twitter has been pretty monumental too. Busy Phillips tweeted a response to the trailer which reads: “I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE!!!!! @oliviawilde YESSSSS!”
Booksmart is currently slated for a 24 May release date in the US – so we’ll keep you posted on when you can expect to see it on UK screens.