Since directing Brie Larson to an Oscar win in 2015’s Room, Irish writer/director Lenny Abrahamson has been fairly quiet, directing only a couple episodes of a TV series called Chance and a single feature, the 2018 horror mystery The Little Stranger, which starred Domhnall Gleeson. Now Abrahamson has returned to his home country as one of the two directors of Normal People, a new Hulu co-production with the BBC which focuses on two young lovers from Ireland who find themselves on opposite sides of a class divide. Check out the trailer below.
Normal People Trailer
Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Man, this show looks sexy. I know the whole “Romeo and Juliet” dynamic is a little played out, but author Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, which serves as the basis for the show, was critically acclaimed, so I suspect there’s more going on here than what we see in this trailer. Normal People will reportedly consist of twelve half-hour episodes, with Abrahamson tackling the first six and Hettie Macdonald (Doctor Who, Howards End) directing the final six. Rooney is serving as a writer on the series, along with Alice Birch (Lady Macbeth, Succession) and Mark O’Rowe (Boy A).
Daisy Edgar-Jones (2019’s War of the Worlds TV series) stars as Marianne, and Paul Mescal (Bump) plays Connell, the two friends/lovers at the center of the story, and the production hired real students who were attending Dublin’s Trinity College to participate in the show. (I visited Trinity College’s campus a couple of years ago to check out the world-famous Long Room in its Old Library; you can see it at the :54 mark in this video.) It’s fitting that the world “normal” is in the title, because this looks like one of the most normal, traditional things Abrahamson has been involved with in years. (And I wouldn’t exactly say that the guy who made Frank and Room is super concerned about directing traditional projects.)
Here’s the show’s official synopsis:
Based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, Normal People is an exquisite, modern love story about how one person can unexpectedly change another person’s life and about how complicated intimacy can be. It follows Marianne and Connell over several years, as they embark on an on-again/off-again romance that starts at school and continues through college, both testing their relationship as they explore different versions of themselves.
Normal People premieres on Hulu on April 29, 2020.
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