Catch Jacob Elordi and Ayo Edebiri in the absurd American satire “The Sweet East”

If you’ve been looking for the next grainy, indie, dark satire to fill the void of shows like The End of the F***ing World or a Safdie brothers film, then look no further than Sean Prince Williams’ absurd American odyssey film The Sweet East. Fresh from its Cannes Film Festival premiere earlier this year (during the Directors’ Fortnight section), the film features both Euphoria heartthrob Jacob Elordi and The Bear’s breakout star, Ayo Edebiri. The film is Prince Williams’ directorial debut, who also wrote the screenplay alongside Nick Pinkerton. Shot in his signature 16mm grain, the film makes for a grungy, dark and comedic ride.

The film follows disaffected high school senior, Lillian Wade, whose school trip to Washington D.C. is suddenly derailed by gun-toting Pizzagate conspiracy theorist. Escaping sudden chaos with emo-punk and self-identified ‘artivist’ Caleb, Lilian falls in with his travelling crew of trust-fund anarchists before leap-frogging between a myriad of all-American caricatures and cults – from a delusional director-producer duo desperate to have her star in their bizarre, butter-themed film, As It Churned, to being taken in by a professor and Edgar Allen Poe fan, who happens to also be a white-supremacist Neo Nazi. Throughout, we see Lilian carve out her own kind of Americana narrative through a picaresque journey along the underbelly of the East Coast – a journey that sees her countless opportunities for reinvention.

The film’s breakout star is Talia Ryder (who you may remember from Netflix’s Do Revenge or her part in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story), who plays the lead of Lilian. She stars alongside Elordi (who is also leading Sofia Coppola’s A24 Priscilla film), Edebiri, Jeremy O. Harris and Earl Cave (son of Nick Cave).

A picaresque journey through contemporary America, undertaken by a young woman granted access to the strange sects and cults that proliferate in this country by a series of gatekeepers eager to win her over.