After premiering to mixed but intriguing reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, director Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise struggled to find distribution in the US. Last week, Magnolia Pictures finally picked up the adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s (Crash) novel via its Magnet Releasing branch, and they’re wasting no time getting audiences interested in the picture, today revealing the first trailer.
The story sets up a modern high-rise complex in 1970s London as a metaphor for classism in society. Think of Ballard’s story as the precursor to tales like Snowpiercer or Elysium, only without the sci-fi elements and styled more as a humorous thriller. Tom Hiddleston plays an affable doctor who moves into the building’s middle floors, as befits his station. He soon finds himself befriending residents from all sorts of different floors, like the pregnant wife (Elisabeth Moss) of an aspiring documentarian (Luke Evans), and the high-rise’s architect himself (Jeremy Irons). Inevitably, Hiddleston’s Dr. Robert Laing finds himself in the middle of rising tensions between the tenants, mirroring the class warfare of the world at large.
The trailer for the film is set up like an advertisement for the building itself, with Laing presenting all the lavish amenities. There’s the on-site supermarket with rotting fruit, blood-dyed pool, and elevators that occasionally breakdown due to rolling blackouts. If the film is half as smart as the trailer, audiences should be thankful Magnolia finally stepped up. Check out the preview below.
There’s no word yet on when High-Rise will see a US release, but it is expected sometime next year. Below, read the synopsis.
“London, 1975. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) is a young doctor seduced by the lifestyle in a high-rise, an isolated community, cut off from the rest of society in their luxury tower block, and its creator, the architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons). Taking up residence on the twenty-fifth floor, Laing discovers a world of complex loyalties, and also strikes up a relationship with Royal’s devoted aide Charlotte (Sienna Miller). After Laing befriends Richard Wilder (Luke Evans), a documentary filmmaker relegated to the second floor who is determined to provoke the class injustices inherent in the high-rise, a dangerous social situation develops and the high-rise eventually fragments into violent tribes.”