Since the release of his short film Superstar and directorial debut Poison, Todd Haynes has been highly regarded and esteemed director for critics and audiences alike. Viewed as a leading figure of the New Queer Cinema movement in the 1990’s, Haynes work have focused on the deconstruction of identity and sexuality in cinema, as well as the artificiality of film as a medium. And, while his most recent entry since 2015’s critically acclaimed Carol will not focus on these particular themes, it is has nevertheless received a great level of buzz from critics.
Hayne’s seventh featured film, Wonderstruck, has been selected by The Film Society of Lincoln Center to be the Centerpiece of the upcoming 55th annual New York Film Festival. Based on the 2011 novel by Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck follows two children whose narratives overlap across different time periods. One storyline takes place in 1977 and centers on Ben (Oakes Fegley), a boy who lost his mother in a car crash and suffers from deafness in one ear. Venturing on a journey from Minnesota to Manhattan in hopes of discovering his father’s identity, Ben’s story is mirrored by that of 12-year old Rose (Millicent Simmonds), a deaf girl who leaves her Hoboken home for the city fifty years earlier. The two storylines connect with one another through the presence of Julianne Moore, who plays someone with a connection to both individuals.
According to NYFF Director Kent Jones, “Todd Haynes and Brian Selznick have pulled off something truly remarkable here—a powerful evocation of childhood, with all of its mysteries and terrors and flights of imagination and longings; richly textured re-creations of Manhattan in the ’20s and the ’70s; and a magical and intricately plotted quest story that builds to a beautiful climax. Wonderstruck is fun, emotionally potent, and… it’s a great New York movie.”
Wonderstruck is set to debut at the New York Film Festival October 7, 2017. It will be followed by a theatrical release on October 20.