After bursting onto the scene as Connell in the hit series “Normal People,” Paul Mescal continues to build a resume that’s going a long way to establish him as a bona fide movie star. His latest outing as a leading man is “God’s Creatures,” a new Irish family drama from Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer that promises to be every bit as powerful as their first collaboration, “The Fits.”

The film, which follows a dangerous secret that threatens to unravel a family in an Irish fishing town, made a strong debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Critics generally praised Mescal’s performance, and many predicted that a late September rollout from A24 could lead to the film becoming an unexpected hit during the fall movie season.

Per the official synopsis from A24, “God’s Creatures” is set in a quiet, brooding Irish fishing village and follows the increasingly strained relationship between prodigal son Brian O’Hara (Mescal) and his mother, Aileen (Watson), when Brian suddenly returns home to his family after living abroad in Australia for seven years. After Brian is accused of an unspeakable act against a former flame (Franciosi), Aileen is caught between protecting her dear son and her own sense of right and wrong, driving her to near-madness. With stirring performances from Watson, Mescal, and Franciosi, the film’s incisive take on familial vs. moral obligations will ensnare audiences and drive them to the brink of tragedy alongside Aileen, with her difficult decision continuing to claw at you long after you’ve finished the film.

“God’s Creatures” was directed by Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer, with a story by Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly and a screenplay by Shane Crowley. It stars Paul Mescal, Emily Watson, Aisling Franciosi, Declan Conlon, Marion O’Dwyer, and Toni O’Rourke.

In her Cannes review of the film, IndieWire’s Kate Erbland wrote that “’God’s Creatures’ is a decidedly chilly affair, both due to its location (a windswept Irish fishing village where people wear cozy sweaters even in May) and its subject matter (a prodigal son returns home and upends everyone’s lives). But powerful performances from stars Emily Watson and Paul Mescal add spark to the film.”

“God’s Creatures” will be released in theaters on Friday, September 30. You can watch the trailer below:

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