Ben Oliver

Now
Banner image for Eileen
film

Eileen

…the other people, they’re just there filling the space. And you take’em for granted. You think, they’re easy. Take a penny, leave a penny. That’s you, Eileen.
29 January 2024

A young woman (Thomasin McKenzie) working at a prison for teenage boys in 1960s Massachusetts starts to fall for a glamorous new psychologist they’ve just hired (Anne Hathaway).

For most of its run time this is a stylish and intriguing story of sexual longing that doesn’t seem to go anywhere fast, before it takes a sinister turn. The two lead performances are impressive and hold it all together when the pace starts to pick up, but I have to question whether they could have perhaps stuck the ending a little better.

It all makes sense when you cast your mind back over the film, the signs are all there for what is to come, but I’d say Eileen needs just a little more flesh on its bones to really hit home. It’s only a short film and another 10 minutes would not have hurt.

In spite of that though the slow burn, the unique sense of atmosphere and the top-tier acting make Eileen an interesting if flawed psychological thriller.