Everything we know about A24’s The Governesses

The maverick movie studio has greenlit a sexy film starring Hoyeon, Lily-Rose Depp, and ‘The Worst Person in the World’ star Renate Reinsve.

by Jenna Mahale
07 April 2022, 12:23pm

Photography Colin Dodgson for i-D's The Out Of Body Issue, no. 367, Spring 2022.

The Governesses is the latest project in an increasingly long line of forthcoming A24 joints. Their sci-fi epic Everything Everywhere All At Once — AKA the highest ever rated film on Letterboxd — will finally get its much-anticipated wider release this Friday April 8; music drama The Idol is due to follow; and the summer drop of SXSW gonzo horror Bodies Bodies Bodies simply can’t come soon enough. 

Now, we can look forward to another film that we can trust will likely be a little bit fucked up and a little bit sexy. With a screenplay based on a French novella of the same name, The Governesses is set to shoot in Spain this year. Here’s everything we know about its potential plotlines, killer cast, major writing credits, and more.

What is the plot of The Governesses?

As reported by Variety, The Governesses will follow three rebellious governesses who upend the household they work in — inspiriting the minds of the boys in their care, igniting the imaginations of the bohemian couple who employ them and abandoning their charges for erotic adventures. Very interesting indeed!

But we can learn more about the film’s story from what we know about the original book, by French writer Anne Serre. First published in 2018, the story was reviewed in The New York Times and called “prim and racy, seriously weird and seriously excellent”. A description of the novella on Google Books reads: “In a large country house shut off from the world by a gated garden, three young governesses responsible for the education of a group of little boys are preparing a party. The governesses, however, seem to spend more time running around in a state of frenzied desire than attending to the children’s education. One of their main activities is lying in wait for any passing stranger, and then throwing themselves on him like drunken Maenads.” Sounds like party we’d want to be at tbh. 

The summary continues: “The rest of the time they drift about in a kind of sated, melancholy calm, spied upon by an old man in the house opposite, who watches their goings-on through a telescope. As they hang paper lanterns and prepare for the ball in their own honour, and in honour of the little boys rolling hoops on the lawn, much is mysterious: one reviewer wrote of the book’s “deceptively simple words and phrasing, the transparency of which works like a mirror reflecting back on the reader”.

Who is in the cast?

Apart from Hoyeon, Lily-Rose Depp and The Worst Person in the World star Renate Reinsve, no other cast members have been announced at this time.

Who is behind the camera?

Joe Talbot will be directing from the screenplay he co-wrote with poet Olivia Gatwood. The Governesses will be Joe’s second feature after his ​​critically acclaimed feature debut in 2019, The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

When is the release date?

As of writing, the film does not have a confirmed release date. But with the project to shoot in Spain this year, with any luck, we should see The Governesses take to our screens at least by the end of 2024. Please?

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