When the first trailer for The Neon Demon surfaced last month, it basically solidified the work as one of the most anticipated films of the year. Now, ahead of its debut at Cannes Film Festival, we have a new, international trailer that exposes more about the film’s dark plot.
If you’re not already familiar with the title, it’s the latest work from Danish writer and director Nicolas Winding Refn, the man behind Drive and Only God Forgives. It follows Jesse (Elle Fanning), a young aspiring model who quickly becomes the fashion world’s greatest star. As she falls deeper into the industry and its culture of envy, infatuation, and spectacle, the lines between reality and imagination distort and Jesse becomes a warped version of her former being.
Fanning is supported by model-turned-actress, Abbey Lee, and Bella Heathcote, who play two top models experiencing the dwindling nature of fame (as Lee’s character so aptly points out, “Who wants sour milk when you can get fresh meat?”), and Jena Malone, who plays a sort of sexual partner and possible exploiter of Jesse. The film marks a drastic turn for Fanning, who is undoubtedly one of America’s sweetest young actresses. It’s also the first feature film where we’ll be able to see the full extent of Lee’s acting capabilities.
Judging by the trailers, it seems like the screenwriting and performance will only be amplified, and not overshadowed, by the stunning cinematography. The film comes out later this year.