History takes a beating (probably) in the first trailer for Lizzie, the upcoming film that dramatizes the famous Andrew and Abby Borden axe murders of 1892. Primary suspect: Andrew’s daughter Lizzie Borden, here played by Chloë Sevigny. That’s where a lot of historical accounts about the murders tend to leave off, but this film, being not content to simply focus on a double hatchet murder, instead zeroes in on the real topic of interest: Lesbian love affairs!
Yes, as it turns out, the reason for the killing as posited by Lizzie is apparently that the world might learn the terrible secret of the forbidden love blooming between Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, playing the Borden family maid, Bridget Sullivan—also implied to be sexually abused by Andrew Borden in this particular trailer. These unsubstantiated theories was put forth by mystery author Ed McBain in a 1984 novel, also called Lizzie, that is suspiciously absent from press materials on the film, if this is indeed an adaptation. Could it be that the producers don’t want anyone questioning the historical veracity of the accounts they’ve chosen to run with? Instead, the film is simply presented as being “based on a true story,” like so many others. Adrift, I’m looking in your direction. Here’s the official synopsis:
Academy Award® nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry, “Big Love”) stars as Lizzie Borden, the notorious woman at the heart of one of the most enduring mysteries in American history. After a lifetime of loneliness, Lizzie finds a kindred spirit in housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) and their secret intimacy sparks an unthinkable act. Director Craig William Macneill (The Boy (2015), “Channel Zero: Candle Cove”) explores the days leading up to the savage crimes in a dark tale of repression, exploitation and thwarted dreams.
Lizzie had its world premiere at Sundance in January, and is currently scheduled for a Sept. 14, 2018 release by Saban Films and Roadside Attractions. Enjoy the titillation and almost certainly historically bankrupt trailer below.