Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan Are Trapped in a Farmland Dystopia

Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan are tasked with finding out who is friend or “Foe” in Garth Davis’ upcoming dystopian drama.

Writer-director Davis co-adapted the screenplay from Iain Reid’s novel of the same name; Reid also penned “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” which Charlie Kaufman previously adapted to the big screen.

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Oscar-nominated stars Mescal and Ronan portray a married couple living 40 years in the future where an environmental crisis has made their farmland almost uninhabitable. Mescal’s character is ordered to leave his home to help pilot a space program while his wife, played by Ronan, would be looked after.

Per the official synopsis, Hen (Ronan) and Junior (Mescal) farm a secluded piece of land that has been in Junior’s family for generations, but their quiet life is thrown into turmoil when an uninvited stranger (Aaron Pierre) shows up at their door with a startling proposal.

Aaron Pierce, Goran D. Kleut, and Yesse Spence also star in the Amazon Studios release.

Writer-director Davis told Vanity Fair that the dilapidated farm is symbolic of Hen and Junior’s fraught relationship. “Their marriage is decaying with the house in many ways — the house for me is almost like a house of ghosts,” Davis said. “It’s been a patriarchal, generational, rural symbol, with the multiple generations moving through there. The environment was constantly reinforcing the themes of what Henrietta was fighting against, wanting to push up against, and escape from.”

He added, “What I find really powerful about the movie is it asks us to be awake and to be alive. A lot of the problems we face in relationships and with the environment and with all sorts of things coming our way is that we’re asleep at the wheel. This movie is really saying, ‘Wake up. Your life is precious, and if you take it for granted, you’re going to lose it.’”

Mescal’s latest role coincides with the fall release of fellow mind-bending drama “All of Us Strangers” which focuses on real ghosts, played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell, who haunt their son (Andrew Scott) after Mescal’s mystical character gives their family a second chance. The Andrew Haigh romantic drama will screen at NYFF and TIFF.

“Indie cinema is where I want to live and be,” the “Aftersun” star Mescal previously told IndieWire of how he selects his roles. “It’s a really cool bi-product of making a film that landed with people. And it’s just important to remind ourselves that the reason that is happening is because people still want to go see independent cinema.”

“Foe” premieres in theaters October 6. Vanity Fair has more images here.

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