What happens when a Hasidic cantor and a biology professor walk into a graveyard?
It’s not a punchline, but rather the premise of Matthew Broderick’s latest film, To Dust. The trailer, shared exclusively with EW above, follows Shmuel (Géza Röhrig), the cantor in question, as he struggles with the recent loss of his wife, and becomes obsessed with how her body will decay.
Plagued by nightmares, and convinced his wife’s soul won’t know peace until her body decomposes to dust, Shmuel enlists the help of bumbling community college biology professor Albert (Broderick) to teach him the science of how a body decays and assuage his fears — or, as writer/director Shawn Snyder put it in a statement, “A borderline blasphemous, tragicomic conversation between science and religion, and an exploration of the idiosyncrasies of grief.”
The odd couple embarks on a series of outlandish experiments to approximate the timeline of his wife’s body’s decay, including, at one point, burying a pig, and Röhrig and Broderick’s chemistry seems effortless in this first trailer.
The film, produced by Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola, and Ron Perlman, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, and comes to theaters Feb. 8, 2019.