Pablo Larraín’s Dazzling Drama ‘Ema’ Starring Gael García Bernal Gets US Release Date

Lead Photo: 'Ema' still courtesy of TIFF
'Ema' still courtesy of TIFF
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Last year, it was announced that Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín would reteam with actor Gael García Bernal on a film called Ema. Set in present-day Chile, the film follows a couple as they navigate their relationship in the wake of an incident involving their adoptive son. Our review of the film out of the Toronto Film Festival called it phenomenal, with the two leads being simply superlative.

So then why hasn’t it been released in the U.S. yet? Well, good news. The film is set to screen at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020 and has been purchased for distribution by Music Box Films for release next summer. In a prepared statement to announce the distribution deal, Larraín says, “I feel proud and excited to be working again with Music Box Films.” The studio put out Larraín’s 2015 feature The Club.

Music Box Films is well-regarded for its slate of international film releases over the years. This year they are distributing Sweden’s submission for this year’s Academy Awards, And Then We Danced. And among the other collaborative elements, this marks the third time Larraín and Gael García Bernal have worked together. They first teamed up for the 2012 feature No and then worked on 2016’s period drama, Neruda.

Ema currently boasts an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes with many citing newcomer Mariana Di Girolamo as a bright rising star to watch. Considering the high praise for Larraín’s English-language debut Jackie back in 2016 it’ll be interesting to see whether this gets increased attention upon release. With Music Box behind it there’s a possibility we’ll be seeing Ema at the 2021 Oscars down the line.

Ema will open in US theaters in the summer of 2020.