Saturday, 4 September 2010

Quick view: Never Let Me Go

Seeing as several critics have weighed in on Never Let Me Go following its Telluride premiere, I thought I'd add a few brief thoughts of my own to the growing response.

For me Never Let Me Go is an extraordinary piece of cinema, an intensely moving, deeply emotional, extremely haunting, beautifully shot, wonderfully acted work of art.

The pitch-perfect script by Alex Garland remains incredibly faithful to Kazuo Ishiguro's source material yet expertly streamlines and focuses the novel's fractured timeline into a movie's traditional three-act structure without losing any of the book's subtly or power or humanity.

The performances are all top drawer, although Carey Mulligan's is, inevitably, the standout, her delicate portrayal of the film's narrator Kathy, calm and collected on the outside, an ever-changing torrent of emotions just below the surface, deserves every accolade available to her. Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley provide superior support; as do the three children who play their younger selves. Sally Hawkins shines, too, in a small but pivotal role.

Praise, too, for Rachel Portman's captivating score and to cinematographer Adam Kimmel and director Mark Romanek for their exquisite compositions.

Apparently some at Telluride found the movie cold and remote. My reaction couldn't be more different. I literally could not speak for half an hour after seeing it, so overwhelmed and affected was I. Given that I'd read both the book and the script beforehand, that's even more remarkable.


Gerard said...

Best news I've heard all week! Well, this and seeing you've joined the Twitter. Thanks for the review. Can't wait.

I'm going to steer clear of other reviews - does it seem the dissenting voices hadn't read the book? Or had? Or both?

Stram said...

Hi Mark! Sorry I didn't leave a comment for a long time now, but I'm back!

Anyway, can't wait to see Never Let Me Go now! Thanks for the review!

Mark Salisbury said...

@ Gerard

It seems to me that many of the dissenters haven't read the book. Then again, they probably wouldn't like it anymore than the film.

@ Stram

Glad to have you back. You were missed.