Directed by Drake Doremus
When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family's relationships and alters their lives forever.
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★★★½ review by ellie on Letterboxd
movie: stars a hot dad
me: IM READY! frigging large popcorn! Hot dog! Damn slurpy dammit! Don't talk to me when I sit down to watch this! Don't touch me ! Don't breathe in my direction ! This is it!
★★★★ review by Caitlin on Letterboxd
Guy Pearce is aptly named because wow he really is... A Guy......... A Man ......
★★★½ review by Jimbo on Letterboxd
Further proof, as if it was needed, that Felicity Jones is the real deal.
★★★★½ review by bethany <3 on Letterboxd
ok wow. i am so incredibly in love with drake doremus' directing and writing. this film is heart wrenching but so beautiful and gives you so much in such a short space of time.
also, guy pearce in those glasses can officially get it.
★★★½ review by Thomas Ringdal on Letterboxd
On paper this is a story about the midlife crisis of a married man, stuck in a job he never wanted and a wife that's rather condecending towards his aspirations. Add Felicity Jones into the mix, and any man would crumble. But it is never her fault, directly. Sure, she's the faucet, if you will, the presence that presents him with motive, means and opportunity, but she never acts upon moments, more than reacts. Doremus has too much love for Jones to make her into the bad guy of any story, of course. And I myself of course love her to death. It's pretty silly, and not at all healthy, and as a result I am doomed to be forever alone.
But as the story above unfolds, we are constantly introduced to classical sets, usually either through a piano or a string instrument of sorts, cello most of the time, to each and every scene. It's as much a love letter to music and musicians, or maybe artists is a better word, as it is a slow, delicate, deliberately paced picture of a desintegration of a family. The wife is played by Amy Ryan, and she is her usual steady self, helping to create the right environment for the story. I didn't care for the daughter at all, but the story wouldn't work without one, of course. Guy Pearce on the other hand is great in a type of role at least I haven't seen him in before.
For a good hour or so, it gently floats along in a soothing fashion only to jolt us back into reality as the truth hits home across the table during the last third, and the fairytale is over.
I'm no big fan of the ending myself, but it does have a certain bittersweet quality, and as much as I personally would enjoy a harmless peak under her sweater, the affair is beautiful and caressing and never gratuitous.
A step back compared to Like Crazy it might be, but I will look out for Doremus' next project.
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