Todd Haynes’ family fantasy Wonderstruck is a mesmerizing throwback to bygone eras, and its period zest is perfectly exemplified above in EW’s exclusive clip from the awards-bound film.
The extended sequence opens in black and white, following young runaway Rose (Millicent Simmonds) as she sets out in New York City in search of a famed movie icon (Julianne Moore). Footage of Rose traversing the city’s teeming streets are later mirrored by similar shots charting the journey of another youngster, Ben (Oakes Fegley), who, 50 years later (in a much more colorful 1977), embarks on a search for his missing father.
Largely silent — save for killer music selections playing atop both scenes — both scenes unfold via Ed Lachman’s masterful lens, which draws us in close enough to feel both Rose and Ben’s mutual, burning desire for connection and the innocent curiosity driving them onward.
“I’ll never have an explanation for how Millie communicated that feeling of being left out, which everybody has experienced, especially in childhood, with such economy and subtlety and confidence,” Haynes told EW of his young actress. “You can’t do that unless you know how to communicate with the world around you.”
Wonderstruck is in theaters beginning Oct. 20. Watch EW’s exclusive clip above.