Monday, October 24, 2016

How I Live Now (2013)

Number Rolled: 25
Movie Name/Year: How I Live Now (2013)
Tagline: Love will lead you home.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Length: 101 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: BFI Film Fund, Cowboy Films, Film4, Passion Pictures, Prospect Pictures, Protagonist Pictures, UK Film Council
Producer: John Battsek, Jeremy Brock, Alasdair Flind, Rosa Romero, Tessa Ross, Andrew Ruhemann, Charles Steel, Nicole Stott, Robert Walak, Piers Wenger, Nigel Williams
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Writer: Meg Rosoff, Jeremy Brock, Penelope Skinner, Tony Grisoni, Jack Thorne
Actors: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, George MacKay, Harley Bird, Danny McEvoy, Anna Chancellor, Jonathan Rugman, Corey Johnson, Darren Morfitt, Stella Gonet, Des McAleer, Amy Dawson

Blurb from Netflix: An American teen’s summer romance with an English boy comes to an abrupt end when rumors of World War III become a reality.

Selina’s Point of View:
I could watch this movie several times in a row and not get bored of it.

There were some parts that were one the weird and kind of icky side if you think about them, but even those moments added to the general feel of the film. The mix of drama and romance worked incredibly well with the war thriller aspects.

Make no mistake, this movie was DARK. It starts out light and happy… and it continues that way for a long time. However, when it takes that left turn into darkness, it is a sharp left turn and it never goes back.

The actors were amazing, the story was enthralling, and even the script seemed to be memorable.

I know the Rotten Tomatoes score looks a little low, but that’s because the movie didn’t really follow the book as closely as fans hoped it would. I haven’t read the book, so I can only judge How I Live Now on its merit as a film. I think I’m happy about that in this case.

Novel Cover
From the moment I saw the trailer to this film, I wanted to see it. Not only was I not disappointed, but my expectations were blown completely away.


Cat’s Point of View:
This was one of those films that hadn’t even been a blip on my radar before. I was familiar with Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, City of Ember, Hanna), though. Her movie Brooklyn (2015) is currently burning a hole in my DVR. I have too many hours-worth of programs piling up; much to my husband’s dismay. Maybe after this busy month is over, I’ll watch it – but I digress.

I haven’t seen her in enough films yet, really, to get a good handle on whether or not her involvement earmarks something I can get excited about automatically. Not yet, at least. I mean – there was that body-snatching alien invasion movie that wasn’t all that great, right?

In any case, I enjoyed her performance here. I really felt the emotional gauntlet. The way her character had to dig deep to find her grit resonated as genuine.

Some of the plot here might be a little squidgy for some – but keep in mind this is England we’re talking about. There’s a historical track record there that accounts for that dismissal of taboo. If that didn’t push buttons, then there’s likely a trigger-laden scene that would still be uncomfortable to most – though, I’ll have to give them credit for executing it tastefully. For the license afforded an R-Rated movie these days, they could have gone a lot more explicit in some places. I think the film benefits for that skillful restraint.

I loved how this movie painted the landscape and the English countryside as an idyllic haven removed from what plagues the more heavily populated areas. One sees why it was an ideal scenario during WWII to be sent out of the cities and to places such as the setting for the majority of this film.

George MacKay
The English cousins each shone in their own way. While George MacKay (Defiance, For Those in Peril, Bypass) as Eddie got a lot of focus, and I loved how they presented his character – it was Harley Bird (Peppa Pig, Doctor Who, Playhouse Presents) that stole the show as Piper out of the three. 

I might go so far as to say that I love this movie – though, it was heart-wrenching and dark enough that I will likely pass on watching it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 55%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

P.S. Based on a novel with the same name written by Meg Rosoff.

Movie Trailer:

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