A24 Sets Jonathan Glazer’s ‘The Zone of Interest’ for Awards-Season Release Date

His first film since “Under the Skin” is almost here

"The Zone of Interest"
"The Zone of Interest" (CREDIT: Cannes Film Festival)

A24 has dated Jonathan Glazer’s World War II drama “The Zone of Interest.” The film, based loosely on the Martin Amis novel of the same name and the winner of both the Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI Prize out of Cannes, has been given a December release date. This means that the indie studio is positioning the film to factor in heavily to the year-end awards conversation (this is almost the exact same date that A24 opened the eventual Oscar-winner “The Whale” last year).

The plot of “The Zone of Interest” is described by the studio simply as: “The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp.” Our own review of the movie out of Cannes described it as “an austere and incandescent Holocaust drama. Neither provocation nor counter-point, ‘The Zone of Interest’ is instead a furtherance, a new take on an ungraspable madness we must never let ourselves forget,” the review read.

Glazer is one of our greatest living directors and one of the most infrequently working (at least on feature films). After directing commercials and music videos in the 1990’s (including Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity”), he made his debut feature in 2000 with the offbeat crime movie “Sexy Beast,” which was enough to net Ben Kingsley an Oscar nomination for his turn as a profane gangster. He followed it up with the disquieting and austere “Birth” in 2006, starring Nicole Kidman as a woman who is convinced a 10-year-old-boy is actually the reincarnation of her dead husband. (It mystified audiences but is now seen as something of a modern classic.)

In 2013, he returned with “Under the Skin,” a sci-fi horror movie starring Scarlett Johansson as a man-eating alien set loose on planet Earth. A modern classic with so much imagery that has been borrowed from the movie (whole swaths for “Stranger Things” alone) that even if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s probably reached you. A follow-up is long overdue.

“The Zone of Interest,” which stars Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel and Ralph Herforth and features music by his “Under the Skin” collaborator Mica Levi, will be out on December 8.