19 Nov

Annabel Cotton (played by Mia Wasikowska) is a beautiful young woman full of the joys of life. She finds pleasure in every day, particularly birds and nature – and she lives for the moment. She also has terminal cancer. One day, she meets enigmatic loner Enoch Brae (by Henry Hopper) and they find a kindred connection. Enoch has never been much into social occasions, but he feels drawn to funerals. Since both his parents died in a car accident, he lives with his sister Mabel (by Jane Adams), but he mostly hangs out with Hiroshi (by Ryô Kase), who was a WWII Japanese kamikaze pilot. Annabel lives with her mother Rachel (by Lusia Strus) and sister Elizabeth (by Schuyler Fisk) but they focus too much on her impending death, rather than her life in the here and now. It seems that death is always going to be around both of them. As Annabel’s condition worsens and her family struggle with the situation, Annabel and Enoch’s love grows …

This movie starts off in an interesting place … Enoch is at the funeral of someone he doesn’t know. Annabel is there too and she catches on to him straight away … although she doesn’t know him, she recognizes something in him and calls it. The two characters continue to be honest and direct with each other, which is refreshing and good to see. However, although the movie does raise some interesting issues – serious illness, death, relationships, love, happiness and risk-taking, it doesn’t really make a key point or resolve anything. Mia Wasikowska is lovely as Annabel – she’s so carefree and light, just as you’d hope a young woman facing her own mortality could be. Henry Hopper is very nice as Enoch, he’s got his own quirks and the two characters are interesting. They are good together, both well cast and balanced nicely. Enoch’s relationship with Hiroshi makes the movie a little more interesting, but the other characters don’t really add much value. As a thought provoker, it’s fine – as a drama, it’s only okay.

Made in 2011.  Directed by Gus van Sant.

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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Movies


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