Restless

"Excellent"

Restless Review


Van Sant returns to his earthy-airy style for this story of a young man coming to terms with the concept of mortality. It's effortlessly honest, with edgy humour balancing the dark themes. Although it's also diluted by commercial sensibilities.

After his parents are killed in a car crash, the thoughtful young Enoch (Hopper) becomes obsessed with death, attending random funerals and chatting to Hiroshi (Kase), the ghost of a young kamikaze pilot. The at one memorial service, Enoch is rumbled by Annabel (Wasikowska), who pursues a friendship with him. As they become closer, Enoch learns that the sparky Annabel has a fatal illness, which means he can no longer put off dealing with the fact that death is actually part of life.

Beautifully shot by Harris Savides, the film has a warm, cluttered real-life look that immediately disarms us. Despite the premise, we're certainly not in syrupy Nicholas Sparks territory; Van Sant tells the story without dipping into sentimentality, letting awkward interaction draw us in so we can sympathise with characters who cope with big issues in bracingly truthful ways. And there's nothing simplistic about any of them; even side roles for Adams (as Enoch's aunt-guardian) and Fisk (as Annabel's protective big sister) are a bundle of compassion and fear.

Hopper (son of Dennis) has a terrific screen presence that holds our attention from the start. He may be slightly too beautiful, but he has a compelling inner life that conveys Enoch's teen fragility and resilience. But then we can't take our eyes off Wasikowska, who delivers yet another magnetic performance packed with unexpected emotion and offhanded humour. It's easy to believe that Annabel would shake up Enoch's life. And their more tender scenes together are beautifully played.

So it's a little frustrating that the film tries so hard to be quirky and cute, with a Danny Elfman score and indie songs that are almost painfully hip.

There's also a slightly pushy message that feels tacked on by a nervous Hollywood studio chief ("We have so little time to say the things we mean") who doesn't trust the otherwise tentative, subtle approach to a powerful theme.

Because that's what makes this film essential viewing.



Restless

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 6th April 2011

Box Office USA: $0.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $163.3 thousand

Budget: $8M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, 360 Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 68

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Annabel Cotton, as Enoch Brae, as Hiroshi Takahashi, as Elizabeth Cotton, as Mabel Tell, as Rachel Cotton, Jesse Henderson as Alger Cofax, Kyle Leatherberry as Elliot

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.