Credit: Trailer Tube via YouTube

“Is all this finally and forever pointless?”

So asks Sam Waterston — with a smile! — in this new trailer for Anesthesia, a Tim Blake Nelson film about Columbia University philosophy professor Walter Zarrow (Waterston), who falls victim to a violent mugging. The story flashes back to the week leading up to the incident, connecting the dots between the seemingly unconnected events that caused the attack. Among the people affected are Zarrow’s wife Marcia (Glenn Close), lonely student Sophie (Kristen Stewart), and a suburban housewife (Gretchen Mol) with a drinking problem.

The trailer pairs rapid-fire flashes of tragedy with an all-star cast, which also includes Nelson, Corey Stoll, and Michael K. Williams.

Anesthesia premieres in a limited release and on VOD on Jan. 8, 2016.