Whether you read it or only said you did, the fact is there was a time when a copy of Ottessa Moshfegh's novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation could be found on everyone's bedside table. It was TikTok's book of choice, it even spawned a whole (questionable) aesthetic, and now a movie too. Ottessa Moshfegh has been busy adapting not just one, but two of her novels (read more about Eileen with Anne Hathaway and Thomasin Kenzie here). Find everything we know about the upcoming adaptation of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, below.
What's the film about?
In case you've been living under a rock (or like the book's unnamed narrator, under a shit tonne of pills) here's a rundown of My Year of Rest and Relaxation's plot. It's a dark satire about a wealthy young woman living in New York City who, around 2000 and 2001, decides to self-medicate with a potent chemical cocktail in order to sleep for a year. She's aided by an enabling therapist, a performance artist. But her "rest" is interrupted by a college friend named Reva, who she tolerates but is repulsed by too. In turn, Reva sticks around out of habit, and because of the clothes and social currency she receives for keeping the protagonist as a friend. It's a story of death and rebirth, and the ending, which is foreshadowed by the book's timeline, is both dramatic and inevitable.
While Moshfegh has said in interviews that the script will diverge slightly from the original text, we believe it will be a mostly faithful adaptation.
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Moshfegh is working on the script, adapting it with the intention that Yorgos Lanthimos – responsible for bringing the critically acclaimed adaptation of Poor Things to the screen – will direct. Back in 2018 when the novel debuted, Margot Robbie's production company LuckyChap snapped up the book's film rights and helped turn it into a German-language stage adaptation. Given that LuckyChap was behind films like Greta Gerwig's Barbie and Emerald Fennell's Saltburn, we can picture her putting her back into the forthcoming film.
The question on everyone's lips though, is who will play the unreliable protagonist? A lot of names have been tossed into the ring, although none of them have been confirmed. We like the idea of Dasha Nekrasova, Jodie Comer, Mia Goth, Alison Oliver, Elle Fanning or Maria Bakalova as the comatose narrator. Rachel Sennott is our pick for Reva, and if they were to include Trevor our pick would be Alexander Skarsgård.
Is there a release date?
No dice unfortunately. We're lucky to receive confirmation about the script, so we'll have to wait a while longer for any other concrete details.