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Restless (2011)

tomatometer

36

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 107
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 68

Mia Wasikowska puts in a nuanced performance but nobody else, actors and directors included, are capable of finding a compelling angle beneath the twee veneer.

28

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 23

Mia Wasikowska puts in a nuanced performance but nobody else, actors and directors included, are capable of finding a compelling angle beneath the twee veneer.

audience

48

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 6,144

My Rating

Movie Info

Annabel Cotton (Mia Wasikowska) is a beautiful and charming terminal cancer patient with a deep felt love of life and the natural world. Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper) is a young man who has dropped out of the business of living, after an accident claimed the life of his parents. When these two outsiders chance to meet at a funeral, they find an unexpected common ground in their unique experiences of the world. For Enoch, it includes his best friend Hiroshi (Ryo Kase) who happens to be the ghost of a

PG-13,

Drama

Jason Lew

Jan 24, 2012

$0.2M

Sony Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (108) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (68) | DVD (1)

If you haven't seen a wasting disease in real life, you might think "Restless" is romantic. If you have, you might diagnose it as terminally cute.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All surface, no thought and quite horribly empty.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Restless is consciously lovely in the face of death. How rare.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This low-budget movie takes its time filling in the backgrounds of its characters. That works for a while, but when it's over you may wonder if that's all there is.

October 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gus Van Sant doesn't make bad movies.

October 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Van Sant lays on the whimsy with a trowel; Wasikowska's quirky thrift-store wardrobe and twinkling performance are enough to trigger migraines.

October 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie pretends it's about death -- our couple meets because Enoch crashes funerals, a literary device that has no relevance here -- but it never scratches past the perfect pale void faces of its leads.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Better stock up on tissues.

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

Quirky, death-obsessed...oddly touching...faintly amusing

January 6, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

A slight tale whose self-conscious indie quirks fail to lift it beyond familiar Disease of the Week formula.

April 6, 2012 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

The couple's ability to see through how people perceive courageous behavior in the face of death forms the heart of the film. Van Sant illustrates that those trappings usually exist only to make the ones who are not sick feel better about themselves.

January 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Scene-Stealers.com
Scene-Stealers.com

Had Restless been a silent film it may have been some kind of stylish masterpiece.

December 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy
Cinema Autopsy

Gus Van Sant staggers back and forth across that line like a drunk with a busted stopwatch.

December 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

Driven by the brave performances of its two young leads, this tender and emotionally resonant film thoughtfully challenges our ideas surrounding death.

December 1, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

A tenderly stylistic evocation of young love wrapped inside a New Wave-esque bundle of wistfulness and nervous energy, and a well constructed little diorama. But one whose elicited feelings do not, alas, linger.

November 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

Gus Van Sant's film bristles with an ethereal quality as we are drawn into a reality in which time seems to be suspended. First time screenwriter Jason Lew has penned a poignant and heartfelt story

November 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

With a tighter grip on proceedings, one imagines Restless would have Van Sant troubling the Academy all over again. As it stands, it's a sweet, gentle film.

November 27, 2011 Full Review Source: The Sun Herald
The Sun Herald

Restless shares with some of Van Sant's best work its gritty Portland, Ore., locations and a washed out palette. Unfortunately, that's all it shares with it.

November 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

anepityxhs apodosh mias realistikhs isorropias anamesa sto penthimo, alla taytoxrona elpidoforo paron

November 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

[S]cramble[s] to cram the 'quirky' back into the please-god-kill-me-and-save-me-from-yet-another-ridiculous-teen-romance... I'm really sick of stories in which women are sacrificed to men's personal journeys.

October 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher | Comment (1)
Flick Filosopher

"Listless" might have been a better title...

October 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

With Restless, Van Sant seems to be aiming for somewhere in between the art house and the cineplex by delivering a movie that is as heartwarming as it is strange.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Suburban Journals of St. Louis

The downward curve of Gus Van Sant's career continues with this awful slice of morbid whimsy.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

Hopper is the spitting image of his father Dennis when he was 20 and the versatile Wasikowska once again shows her talent for investing the most delicate of material with a sturdy emotional conviction.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

It's not for everyone, but for me, it works.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Comment (1)
Daily Telegraph

Audience Reviews for Restless

This is basically a contemporary take on Harold and Maude. For that reason, I was rather hesitant to see this, mostly because Harold and Maude is an amazing film, and one that really struck a chord with me. I kept an open mind though, and, while this film is similar to that one, it ultimately stands on its own.

This is the story of a quirky romance, as shown through the lens of the talented and versatile Gus Van Sant. Enoch is a sullen and troubled lad whose 'hobby' as it were, is to crash funerals, whether he knows the deceased or not. He also spends a lot of time with Hiroshi- the ghost of a Kamikaze pilot who may or may not be just a figment of Enoch's imagination.

At one of his many funeral crashings, Enoch has a meet cute with Annabel- a young woman ho loves nature, and like Enoch, spending time among the dead. Thinking she just works at a ward for 'kids with cancer', he comes to find out that she is instead a patient, suffering with a terminal brain tumor. Knowing she doesn't have much time, the two try to make the most of their blossoming relationship, with her getting some much needed understanding, and him learning that life doesn't have to be a gloomy as he thinks it is.

This is a very sweet and poignant film. Thankfully, it rarely gets too sappy and schmaltzy. Even the quirkier elements like Hiroshi, are handled in a fairly realistic manner, despite how unrealistic it might seem. The film is also pretty solid with the characters and story, though there are a few plot points that don't really go anywhere and could have been handled better (namely the Halloween bully confrontation).

Danny Elfman provides a solid, atypical (for him) score, Van Sant provides some good direction, and the lead performances by Henry (son of Dennis) Hopper and Mia Wasikowska are great. Ryo Kase is also quite good as Hiroshi, and even though it is odd, I like the idea of Enoch being friends with a Kamikaze pilot.

Give this one a shot. It's a nice, well done indie film, and makes for a great date night watch.
May 18, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Nicely acted and looks great. Mia Wasikowska is outstanding here. Story is a little slow, probably the worst thing I could say. I can see why some would not like it at all as its not the most cheerful topic, and some of it is a little pretentious. Though I enjoyed it, mostly the performances, it would not be a movie I would rush to watch again.
April 10, 2013
romy861

Super Reviewer

A boy with a kamikaze pilot ghost for a best friend and a hobby of attending funerals falls in love with a girl who's dying of cancer. Remaking HAROLD AND MAUDE as a teen romance with a hot Maude and a ghost sidekick sounds like a bad idea, but with some brain-dead acting and a script that's sicklier than Mia Wasikowska's character, it's even worse than you would imagine.
December 14, 2012
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

I'm caught in a dilemma here, wanting to judge this film from an indie perspective and sensibility; at which point I would give this a fairly good passing grade due to the solid productions values and able performances by the two leads... but taken as a major, main stream production it fails for all the reasons that it makes a good indie.

From the opening scenes I thought I was in a remake of Harold & Maude - and was hoping for dark satire - but what Gus Van Sant presents here is more of a quirky love story with two kids dealing with the big one - death.

The dynamic is interesting with one of the characters refusing to succumb while the other has waved the white flag, all the while trying to make sense of his personal tragedy by becoming a funeral crasher (and please - do NOT pitch this as a Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler comedy!!!).

The outward quirkiness and the offbeat nature of what is presented is a double edged sword - you can either dismiss it or accept it - just as the 2nd hand store clothing of the female role is either just right, or way too precious.

However, what is for certain is that Mia Wasikowska hits all the notes just right here - real, vulnerable, yet with that spark of life and that slightly goofy, off center smile that makes you just want to hug her. Opposite Mia is the more difficult role of the shattered teen, and here Henry Hopper also manages the part well, managing to show his anger in a simmering fashion instead of boiling over (even if, as any teen would, he occasionally lashes out). Their quirky romance is just a bit too "aw gee", and since this budding romance is the center that the rest of the film spins around, then one will either enjoy the film for this teen based bit of nostalgia, or wish that a more serious tone were employed concerning the topic of death and how to deal with it. Perhaps this is the point - and the only way to approach the topic of death is with a modicum of gentle humor. Once again, I'm on the fence and can see this film from both perspectives - a sweet tome to youth and discovery, or a too precious look into two different perspectives on death.
November 29, 2012
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

    1. Hiroshi: I see now that death is easy. It is love that is hard.
    – Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)
    1. Annabel: People haven't been around even a fraction of the time of some reptiles, so three months is almost the same as three centuries or three days...
    – Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)
    1. Hiroshi: White people. You have to grab everything.
    – Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)
    1. Enoch: We have so little time to say the things we mean.
    – Submitted by Amir V (2 years ago)
    1. Hiroshi: You have no respect for the dead.
    – Submitted by Amir V (2 years ago)
    1. Enoch Brae: We have so little time to say the things we mean.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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