The Seagull

Poster for The Seagull

“After receiving her third Oscar nomination by the age of 23, Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) follows up Lady Bird with a return to period costume drama, starring alongside four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, 20th Century Women) in an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s stage classic The Seagull.

Originally written in 1895, The Seagull is the Russian playwright’s first of four major plays. One summer at a lakeside Russian estate, friends and family gather for a weekend in the countryside. While everyone in the cast of characters is caught up in passionately loving someone who loves somebody else, a tragicomedy unfolds about art, fame, human folly, and the eternal desire to live a purposeful life.

The Seagull has seen countless stage adaptations over the years, including ballets, operas and two film versions. Broadway director Michael Mayer’s new adaptation stars Bening as the fading actress Irina Arkadina, Ronan as the pretty ingenue Nina, Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) as the famous writer Boris Trigorin, Billy Howle (The Sense of an Ending) as the lovesick Konstantin, and Elisabeth Moss (The Square, TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale) as his admirer Masha.

Adapted by Tony-winning playwright Stephen Karam (The Humans), The Seagull explores, with comedy and melancholy, the obsessive nature of love, the tangled relationships between parents and children, and the transcendent value of art.” (Indiewire)

“Annette Bening, who has enjoyed a late-career renaissance… scores another triumph with her turn as the vainglorious, aging actress Irina.” (Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter)

“Despite a few scenes that are too on the nose, The Seagull… turns out to be very fine. Above all, it’s a platform for a handful of definitive performances.” (David Edelstein, New York Magazine)

“Although the action, set in the early 1900s, unfolds almost entirely in and around a Russian lakeside estate, the film rarely feels static or stagy, with enough brisk editing, active camerawork and intimate framing to make for satisfying cinema.” (Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times)