Keira Knightley is getting the Christmas movie do-over we didn't realise we wanted, in her latest film, Silent Night, where she stars alongside Lily-Rose Depp in a doomsday-esque Christmas tale that sounds a lot like a marrying between Greenland and Cameron Diaz's story arc in The Holiday.
The film, which will be Camille Griffin's feature directorial debut, follows a group of old friends who decide to hole up in the English countryside together for their last holiday reunion as the world faces impending doom. Burdened with the inconvenience of the end of the world, in true British fashion, they adopt a stiff upper lip (Knightley's specialty), and continue their Christmas fare as though it's 2005. "But no amount of stoicism can replace the courage needed for their last night on Earth", a synopsis reads.
Starring alongside Knightley, is Matthew Goode, Roman Griffin Davis, Annabelle Wallis, Lily-Rose Depp, Ṣọpé Dìrísù, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Lucy Punch, Rufus Jones and Trudie Styler among others. Matthew Vaughn, Trudie Styler, and Celine Rattray, have produced the film.
In an exclusive interview between Knightley and Depp for Interview Magazine, Knightly asks Depp how she chooses her roles, which, of late, have erred on the side of indie productions. "Weird and wonderful is definitely the direction I’m trying to go." She says. "I gravitate towards things that are a little bit outside of the box, or bordering on the strange. I fnd those projects to be the most creatively fulfilling because they allow you to enter into a different mindset."
For Griffith, she told Deadline that her inspiration came to her in the bath. “I was in the bath and my kids had just watched War Horse, and they said, ‘Mum what are we going to do if there’s a war?’ And I said, ‘Unfortunately if there’s a war it’s going to be nuclear. But it’s OK because I’ve saved up my Tramadol.’ And they said, ‘What’s that?’ Obviously, these are the kind of conversations we have at home. I was joking.”
She continued, “I believe if you can’t go out and save the world yourself then at least you need to bring the truth into the household. And really the film is a metaphorical exploration of how one might cope when a catastrophe comes knocking at your door and how do you protect your children and your loved ones. And how we should take our privilege and care about the rest of our society.”
Knightley was, she said, seven months pregnant when she first read the script. She found it hilariously funny. “My husband was like, ‘What are you laughing at? What’s so funny?’ And I said, ‘Oh they all die!’” Then, six weeks after giving birth she read it again. “I was in that hormonal placed of no sleep and breast milk and I go and read she script again and I find it absolutely hysterical. And I meet Cami and we have this conversation… We talked a lot about maternal catastrophe, where you give birth to life but you also give birth to fear.”
Silent Night premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and will be released in theatres and on streaming this December.