Hilary Swank is desperate for answers in her latest role.
PEOPLE has the exclusive first trailer for The Good Mother, in which Oscar-winner Swank plays Albany Times-Union journalist Marissa Bennings as she copes with her son Michael’s murder — and searches for his killer with help from his pregnant girlfriend Paige (Olivia Cooke).
Paige reveals that Michael was involved in drug-dealing and tells Marissa he received a suspicious call the night of his death, before the arrival of “$50,000-worth of dirty heroin” at their home.
Marissa and Paige get help in their investigation from Marissa’s other son, a police officer (Midsommar’s Jack Reynor).
A synopsis for the movie describes Marissa and Michael as estranged prior to his death, leading to the “unlikely alliance with his pregnant girlfriend Paige to track down the killers.”
“Together they confront a world of corruption and drugs in the seedy underbelly of a small city in upstate New York,” the synopsis adds. “As they get closer to the truth, they unearth an even darker secret.”
The Good Mother”s director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte tells PEOPLE the idea for the film came from on-set discussions about the opioid crisis as he made his 2016 movie As You Are. The director says the new movie is “full of surprises [that] I think will keep [audiences] guessing.”
“Working with this cast was, and will continue to be, undoubtedly one of the greatest highlights of my career,” he says.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better group of actors or humans. This was a very small movie, shot in downtown Albany, for no money, and they made it feel like we were the biggest movie in the world.”
Joris-Peyrafitte adds that Swank, 49, “truly is unbelievable” to work with.
“A genuine master of her craft with a 1000-foot view of the whole filmmaking process,” he says. “She works so hard, doesn’t compromise and keeps everyone sharp. It was a pleasure, an education and an absolute honor to work with Hilary.”
Aside from Swank, Cooke and Reynor, the movie also stars Hopper Penn, Dilone, Norm Lewis and Karen Aldridge.
The Good Mother (formerly titled Mother’s Milk) is in theaters Sept. 1.