She’s been in some giant movies, yes, but to these eyes, Kirsten Dunst has always been an art-house movie star – after all, her first leading role was in Sofia Coppola’s dreamy Virgin Suicides; she followed up the megahit Bring It On with The Cat’s Meow (a cinephile’s what-if movie where she played silent star Marion Davies for director Peter Bogdanovich); and after she burned out on franchises with Spider-Man 3, she was brought back from the brink by international cinema’s enfant terrible, Lars von Trier. Her performance in his 2011 masterpiece Melancholia was a startlingly raw portrait of mental illness and self-destruction; if its trailer is any indication, her starring role in the new drama Woodshock seems to be very much in that same vein.
Woodshock is written and directed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy – better known for their fashion brand Rodarte. They previously designed the ballet costumes for Black Swan and collaborated on the 2010 short film Bastard, but this is their feature debut, and it looks remarkable. And frankly, good on Dunst for stepping up to work with first-time female filmmakers; in addition to her many collaborations with Coppola, she also starred in Leslye Headland’s debut film Bachelorette.
Woodshock hits theaters on September 15; before then, Dunst can be seen in Coppola’s June remake of The Beguiled.