Saturday, September 4, 2010

High on "Telluride": Never Let Me Go

One of the first big films showing at Telluride this weekend, Never Let Me Go, has had a flood of reviews coming in, and the having ranged so far from positive to mixed. You have to be very careful about who you listen to, but it seems that people haven't quite agreed on this film. Lets start positive and go from there.
David Poland (Movie City News):
"In this insular world, there are few outsiders. The audience becomes one. As we accept the premise, without rage, we accept our complacency in so many of the world’s horrors. The allusions to the Jewish Holocaust are clearly there, although subtle. It’s not gas chambers you are watching, but a world that looks the other way as the trains roll by and the smoke fills the air at dusk. Why wasn’t there more screaming and fighting and rage on display from inside of those trains as rolled along in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s? Of course, we cannot judge these victims by the simple poles of right and wrong. We can’t really judge these people at all. As they see our blank faces trying to look away as they pass, it is we who should be judged by them, though they have no sense of this. They survive by their nature, adjusting without question to a world in which they do not believe they control their fates… or should."
Alex Billington (First Showing):
"There are many great elements to the film: Adam Kimmel's very beautiful cinematography, Carey Mulligan's phenomenal performance (she's primarily the focus of the film), Rachel Portman's mesmerizing score, Mark Romanek's careful direction, even the concept and story overall. My only minor complaint is that it felt like it moved a bit too quickly, we didn't get enough time with the three of them at each of their different ages. I would've actually been perfectly happy watching a longer version that extended each time period, as there was so much more I would've loved to see to build up the characters and the heart-wrenching story further."
Kristopher Tapley (In Contention):
"Shockingly... Romanek’s adaptation kept me at arm’s length from frame one. There is a distance here, a cold sense of removal from what would otherwise be an extremely moving narrative. I wanted desperately to feel for the characters and their plight (I won’t hazard particulars for fear of spoilers). But I felt nothing…at all. I wanted them to rage against their circumstances and show an ounce of the spirit they in one instance even set out to prove they have, but there was, again, nothing."
Thus far, most of the initial reaction is positive, while some have their own reservations against the film. Over the next week or so we'll get to fully understanding the quality of this film, and it's awards chances. Until then, take a look at this new clip from Never Let Me Go.

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