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The World to Come (Sundance 2021); Grade: B+

Strictly Films welcomes you back to the final coverage of this years Sundance Film Festival! Our last film on the block: The World to Come.

The World to Come takes place around the year of 1856, as it features a couple Abigail (Katherine Waterson) and Dyer (Casey Affleck). Abigail and Dyer once had a beloved marriage and were beloved parents of a little girl, unfortunately they had to endure the loss of their child due to a sudden illness. Which made Abigail and Dyer's marriage never the same. Fortunately this married couple will be introduced to a married couple Tallie (Vanessa Kirby) and Finney (Christopher Abbott), as Abigail found a great friend within Tallie. Soon Abigail will discover she'll have feelings for Tallie, feelings that go beyond as friends, as she hopes she feels the same.

The Cinematography t'was wonderful, this is a beautifully shot film that looks authentic towards the time period visually. The Score was solid as well, I recall enjoying the composed score. The cast all in all was pretty good as a whole. Katherine Waterson playing Abigail had a pretty good performance, as she excelled in chemistry within her co-stars. Abigail is a likable character, you feel for her at her current emotional state, as she needed an unexpected spark to make her feel whole again from her tragic loss. Within her friendship with Tallie it feels as if she can relate with someone, who's marriage was at a high point once but suddenly did not go the way it started. It's also worth noting Abigail also finds common ground with Tallie, as far as poetry and writing so Abigail truly enjoyed the way Tallie appreciated her found passion, while her husband Dyer doesn't quite understand poetry as he is just a simple man.

Tallie played by Vanessa Kirby had a pretty good performance as well, loved the chemistry she had with Katherine as they make a believable romantic pair. You honestly feel more sorry for Tallie than Abigail, as she is involved in a rather unhealthy marriage within Finney. Abigail completes Tallie as she can feel a sense of relief, that she is just good enough for who she is, as her minor flaws don't shape herself entirely. Dyer played by Casey Affleck had a pretty good performance, as he had solid chemistry with Katherine making this a believable married couple that lost their way due to unfortunate events. You honestly feel sorry for Dyer, as he's entirely broken as a whole but still manages to do his best for his wife, as he still genuinely cares for his wife as far as feelings and such. He may not be what Abigail needed during her mourning of her lost, however he's still a good man that works hard and does care for his wife. It's unfortunate really that this tragic occurrence had to happen, as it lost spark within Abigail's love for Dyer, it feels as if they did once were a loving couple but this tragic event... Nothing was the same. Christopher Abbot playing Finney had a pretty damn good performance, as this is easily the worst character of them all. Every time Finney is on screen, you honestly get infuriated due to the way he treats his wife, as it's all harsh judgement as nothing is ever good enough. Sure Tallie is flawed like everyone else, however there is no excuse for Finney to constantly put her down every living second.

I do have a couple flaws for The World to Come. Some pacing issues here and there. I also would've liked more depth to be done with the character Dyer as well. I know this film is mainly centered around Abigail and Tallie, but I feel as there is more to be explored within Dyer.

Well the Sundance Film Festival ends with a banger, as I really enjoyed The World to Come. I enjoyed how this story is being told through a fair amount of narration, as it helps guides you within the days Abigail is living, as well as her beginning and ending to her romance with Tallie. You get a fair grasp on Abigail's feelings on many situations in her life, so you completely understand her and the events that follow. I really enjoyed the story, it's a well written forbidden love tale, as I found myself entirely interested from start to finish. The ending is extremely saddening, however I do feel as if this event also helped reshaped Abigail and Dyer's love for each other, as Dyer proved to Abigail he is still a loving compatible part for Abigail's well being.

Overall, The World to Come was a pretty good film. I recommend checking this one out, will be in theaters this upcoming week! Well thank you to Sundance giving many film lovers an opportunity to partake in the festival this year from home. I do hope this becomes the future, as not only people can experience the festival themselves in person, but can also help support the festival and experience the films from the festival at home... It's a Win-Win situation in my book, so let's make this the norm. -Mitch Smietana

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