'How I Live Now': Saoirse Ronan's Dystopian Movie Is Too Dark For America [Trailer]
The story of teen lovers separated by nuclear war is "too dark" for US viewers.
We've been teased by trailers, posters, promo shots and Bat For Lashes soundtrack songs for some months but now it's time to ratchet up the excitement for new Kevin MacDonald movie How I Live Now one last time before it's UK release in just two days (4th October).
Saoirse Ronan Plays Daisy, A Teenager Visiting From New York.
One glance of the trailer and it's immediately apparent that this isn't your average teen romance but what the trailer doesn't accurately convey is how dark the movie becomes. A jangly indie soundtrack, a moody American Saorsie Ronan rocking up in the English countryside, some teens smooching in a barn; the trailer barely skims the surface of the war-torn desolation the sun-streaked meadows dissolve into.
Ronan plays Daisy, a New York teenager who arrives in England to spend her summer with her cousins. She ends up falling in love with one of her cousins, Eddie (George MacKay), and the pair's love blossoms as their idyllic summer floats between skinny sipping and bonfires. That is, until world war three breaks out and their dreamy idyll is ripped apart when they are violently separated by soldiers.
Daisy and Eddie vow to never stop trying to be reunited with each other but as Daisy embarks upon her terrifying journey, her optimism for finding Eddie begins to wane.
Fans of dystopian and apocalyptic movies will be drawn to the terror of the unknown all the more chillingly conveyed through the eyes of a frightened yet determined young person. The movie employs the often frantic claustrophobia and panic of Children of Men whilst references the eerie stillness and lurking horror of 28 Days Later.
Adapted from the best-selling YA fiction novel by Meg Rosoff, MacDonald admitted to The Independent that he's wanted to adapt Rosoff's story of the same name for some time. The Last King of Scotland's director spoke of the dystopian tale and how it is not afraid to court controversy with the development of a sexual relationship between two cousins set in the middle of a modern Western warzone.
The Group's Idyllic Summer Is Blown Apart By The Arrival Of WWIII.
"I hope it's not too controversial," fretted MacDonald. "It happens to people everywhere. The thing is, they are related by blood, but they haven't grown up together and they have never met before. She has a strong attraction to him, but he is socially awkward and more in touch with nature. That bugs her because she's not like that. A big part of the story is about the deep love these two young people have for each other."
He noted that whilst his movie wouldn't rule out a teenage audience, some of the themes conveyed might be disturbing to American audiences - which is fine by MacDonald. "It's not made for a huge budget," said Macdonald. "I deliberately didn't want to have American money in it and have that pressure of it having to make $50m in the first weekend. This is very much a film for Europe; for Britain, I think. It's too dark for America," he added intriguingly.
Daisy Vows To Track Down Eddie, No Matter What.
MacDonald also let slip some gossip, as he revealed that the development of the onscreen relationship between Daisy and Eddie mirrored that of the actors, Saoirse and George, which helped with some of the more intimate scenes. "What happened during the course of film [...] is that they fell in love and it was very easy. It was Saoirse's first proper boyfriend...they kept it very quiet."
Though Saoirse and Eddie may have been more comfortable with the sex scenes, MacDonald confessed that he was not experienced in filming such scenes and turned to fellow director Danny Boyle for some advice: "It was awkward doing the sex scenes [...] I was lucky enough to get a masterclass from Danny Boyle [who said] 'Take all of the eroticism and romance out of it and reduce it down to a series of mechanical moves. Make it like a series of dance moves.' And that is sort of what we did."
How I Live Now will be released on the 4th October in the UK and on limited release from the 15th October in the USA.