Saoirse Ronan Goes Green for 'The Outrun'

Saoirse Ronan as Rona sitting on the balcony of her highrise with a cigarette in 'The Outrun'

Saoirse Ronan as Rona in 'The Outrun'

BBC Films/StudioCanal

It's been a minute since Anglophiles heard anything about The Outrun, the film based on the best-selling memoir of the same name by Amy Liptrot, but the Oscar-bait movie is finally about to get its first release date as part of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. The project was initially announced in January 2022 as awards season was gearing up for its first in-person year. German screenwriter/director Nora Fingscheidt (The Unforgivable) was attached to helm the project and co-write the adapted screenplay along with Liptrot. Saoirse Ronan was announced as attached to star as the fictionalized version of Liptrot and would executive produce, with a plan to film that summer.

The film basically disappeared after that, with only a note here and there about production studios optioning it and who would be grabbing the right to distribute internationally. So the sudden appearance of the title on the Sundance list at the end of 2023 was a slight surprise, though not an unwelcome one. Moreover, as a film set up for an awards run from the top, debuting at Sundance is a tried and true method of building momentum, even if it's not the current favorite way for production studios to get the most bang for the buck. (That would be doing the one-two punch of the Venice Film Festival, followed by the Toronto Film Festival, and then dropping the film in American theaters just before Thanksgiving.)

But considering the subject matter, addiction, homecoming, and the struggle of hitting rock bottom, a long lead will probably do The Outrun the most favors in, well, the long run.

Here's the film's synopsis via Sundance:

After living life on the edge in London, Rona attempts to come to terms with her troubled past. She returns to the wild beauty of Scotland’s Orkney Islands — where she grew up — hoping to heal. Adapted from the bestselling memoir by Amy Liptrot.

Nora Fingscheidt’s poignant adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s fearless memoir details the author’s liberation from drug and alcohol addiction, a triumph forged on the enchanted, wind-battered coasts of her childhood home. The Outrun traces Rona’s false starts and setbacks on the road to recovery through harrowing flashbacks to her downward spiral in London and her reckoning with reality in a strict rehab program. But Fingscheidt is more concerned with Rona’s final destination — deliverance from personal demons through transcendent communion with nature. Grounded in local lore and rich with Liptrot’s journalistic digressions on the land and its life-forms, The Outrun artfully ties Rona’s healing to her growing environmental stewardship. 

Ronan co-stars alongside a group of British favorites, including Paapa Essiedu (The Lazarus Project), Stephen Dillane (The Crown), and Saskia Reeves (Slow Horses). The film is produced by Ronan, Sarah Brocklehurst for Brock Media, Jack Lowden and Dominic Norris for Arcade Pictures, BBC Films, and Protagonist Pictures.

The Outrun will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, January 19, 2024. 


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice:

More to Love from Telly Visions