My Summer of Love Reviews
The highlights of this film are the performances by the leads, Natalie Press, the always exceptional Emily Blunt, and the woefully under-used Paddy Constantine. Each actor is believable and gives a compelling performance. Though I'm partial to Constantine, who had the greatest challenge in making what could have been farcical real, Blunt and Press are both alluring and tortured.
I did have problems with the film's story and direction. The story is so lackadaisical and slowly built that whatever energy the actors and the story's inherit conflict could engender was dissipated. Also, the camera randomly jump-zoomed on certain actors at rare times. I didn't understand the motivation for it -- it seemed like a child had pressed a button he shouldn't have.
Overall, when the film held my attention, it was because of the actors' work, but had the director picked up the pace, I think My Summer of Love would have been an excellent film.
And also like Heavenly Creatures, the threat of the two girls being separated spurs some rather dark consequences for several people.
I liked My Summer of Love, but it was a fair distance from perfect. The camera work was needlessly busy and distracting, and it took me the majority of the movie to get used to it. And it's a little slow at times. It also seemed like the story was a little muddled. Ambiguous or open-ended stories are fine, but Summer of Love veered towards frustration once or twice.
The best parts of the movie were Emily Blunt, Natalie Press, and Paddy Considine. They're really the only main characters, and each of them does an excellent job portraying flawed people.
In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona (Press) meets the exotic, pampered Tasmin (Blunt). Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together.
Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski's second fiction feature, freely adapted by the director and Michael Wynne from a novel by Helen Cross, is a disarming story of two young women of very disparate backgrounds colliding into a risky, beguiling affair. At the beginning of the titular summer in a Yorkshire town, Mona (Natalie Press) hasn't a lot to look forward to: Her partner in carnal relations has thrown her off, and her brother (the increasingly reliable Paddy Considine) has come out of prison born-again; we first see him emptying liquor bottles in the pub he and Mona inherited from their parents, the better to convert the spot into a Christian meeting place. One day, toddling about on her engineless scooter, the bright-eyed blond meets the almost Vichy Tamsin (Emily Blunt), whose fairy-tale appeal is enhanced by the fact that she lives in a veritable castle, complete with neglectful parents. The two become passionate friends, then more. Beautifully acted by the two leads and filled with astonishingly enacted and acutely observed instances of the kind of magic that happens when two people get lost in each other (even when what they're getting lost in isn't the "real" person), this is as wonderfully realized an observation of female affinity as 1999's great The Dreamlife of Angels.
Starring: Emily Blunt, Nathalie Press, Paddy Considine, Dean Andrews.
Tamsin: 'If you leave me, I'll kill you.'
Mona: 'If you leave me, I'll kill you....and then I'll kill myself.'
Its a film I have come to admire, the direction by Pawel Pawlikowski is one highlights of the film in which it is done with such a natural grace, you notice for the first 10 minutes of film how simple it all appears, like its shot on a very cheap camera, but you lose yourself in the movie after that and it is somehow hypnotic. It also delivers extraordinary performances from its leads that you forget how independent the film really is and are so absorbed by the quality of the script, how charming and romantic and can be and how silently powerful in moments it is.
Only downside of the film is its sudden ending, it does answer all questions and doesn't leave you in the dark, but you do expect something a little more then the way it suddenly ended. A charming, hypnotic film that is never trashy or graphic, but silently powerful and charming.
VERDICT: A really enjoyable film
[font=Century Gothic]"My Summer of Love" is a simple story shot in a very naturalistic style, sometimes with handheld cameras. The performances are all fine, especially Paddy Considine. The movie is scored to wonderful music. The movie while having something to say about class structure, has much more to say about our true natures.[/font]