The World to Come review – desire runs deep in slow-burn frontier romance

The World to Come review – desire runs deep in slow-burn frontier romance
In 1850s America, farmers’ wives Vanessa Kirby and Katherine Waterston connect in this powerfully understated drama

“I have become my grief.” So writes Abigail (Katherine Waterston) in the journal that was intended as a ledger for the quotidian details of 1850s US frontier farm life, but turns into a poetic account of her inner turmoil – Emily Dickinson-infused moments of anguish as she stoically chisels ice from the potatoes for lunch. Then one day a wagon rolls past bearing the new tenants to the neighbouring smallholding. The husband barely registers, but the wife, Tallie (Vanessa Kirby), is magnetic: tawny curls, curious eyes seeking out Abigail’s and holding them in a moment of tingling intimacy. Love at first sight is a frivolity not afforded to women who are chosen by their husbands for their “good sense, efficient habits and handy ways”. Still, there’s something between them, something that Abigail,
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