Although this introspective British film tackles themes that are rarely addressed on screen, its microscopic budget and inexperienced cast and crew make it very difficult to engage with. As it follows a group of friends in their early 20s grappling with mortality and faith, filmmaker Barrett shows that he has plenty of ambition, as well as a French-style approach to character-based drama.
When someone their age dies of a terminal illness, five 20-something London friends become obsessed with figuring out the meaning of life. Three guys share a house: shy David (De Meo), philosophical Pete (Gordon) and self-absorbed Tom (Martello-White). While their female friends Jay (Wisener) and Claire (Ryan) live nearby. Jay has an older boyfriend (Nicholls), who feels like an outsider compared to these aimless recent university graduates. And as they contemplate their purpose, Tom and Claire flirt half-heartedly with starting a relationship.
The fact that these people are all great pals is very hard to believe. They have little in common, which makes their interaction feel manufactured by the screenplay. This may make the yawning silences in their conversations feel realistic, but it also means that we never believe a single scene. And since the personality traits seem to have been carefully divided up between them, the premise feels like an existential version on Friends that never properly develops or explores its mopey characters.
Continue reading: Life Just Is Review
Director Cary Fukunaga adapts Charlotte Bronte's classic novel Jane Eyre. The plot stays true to the book and shows Jane at different stages of her life. It tries to show the darker and more gothic undertones that Bronte would've been surrounded by whilst she was writing the novel.
Continue: Jane Eyre Trailer
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.