New Handmaid’s Tale Trailer Offers Visual Splendor


In the latest trailer for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation, Elizabeth Moss tries to escape from an oppressive (but gorgeous) dystopia.

Few 2017 shows, new or returning, are as hotly anticipated as The Handmaid’s Tale. In the wake of last year’s presidential election, Hulu’s dystopian drama went from speculative to prescient, its depiction of misogyny and religious fundamentalism more urgent than ever. Plus, it’s adapted from a classic novel by Margaret Atwood.

But just in case your excitement hasn’t shot through the roof yet, Hulu has a cure for that. The streaming service released a new trailer, shrewdly timed to coincide with International Women’s Day/A Day Without Women.

Check it out below:

The actual trailer lasts for less than 30 seconds, yet it makes an indelible impression. We see our heroine Offred, played by the wonderful Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, Top of the Lake), donning her ceremonial attire – a scarlet robe and white bonnet. Those images are cross-cut with snippets of chaos: armed men marching, protestors brandishing signs, Offred running through the woods. The radiant golden light that bathes the former scenes stands in jarring contrast to the grimy gray of the latter; it’s a dream merged with a nightmare.

If we have one complaint, it’s the use of “Amazing Grace”. Somber, slowed-down renditions of well-known songs have become an irritating trailer cliché (see also Logan, Geostorm, etc.), and here, it distracts from the visuals, rendering them melodramatic rather than chilling. At least the choral style fits the story’s religious themes.

Anyway, the dazzling imagery should go some ways to make up for the absence of Atwood’s lyrical prose.

For anyone unfamiliar with the book, The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic society that was formed in the United States after a terrorist attack blamed on Islamic radicals. Women’s rights are virtually nonexistent: not only are they forbidden to read, but a select few like Offred are forced to serve as reproductive vessels for the male rulers. Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black), Joseph Fiennes (Flashforward), Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), and Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) co-star alongside Moss.

The 10-part limited series was created by Bruce Miller. Reed Morano, a cinematographer who recently helmed installments of Halt and Catch Fire and Billions, will the first three episodes.

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The Handmaid’s Tale premieres April 26 on Hulu.