[Gus Van Sant]
Henry Hopper is a son of Denis Hopper. His performance is not bad as well as Ryo Kase who performs as a ghost of a Kamikaze pilot.
The movie's first-time screenwriter Jason Lew and co-producer Bryce Dallas Howard, a daughter of Ron Howard attended New York University together and it was there that Lew first wrote the story as a play. Howard, who had acted in plays with Lew, got a peek at the story and encouraged him to write it as a screenplay.
The movie is set in Portland and begins with 'Two of Us' by Beatles. It creates unique atmosphere with Mia's 60's European fashions. Thoughts of:
-a boy who cannot accept his parents' death
-a girl s who is given 3 months to live and
-a Kamikaze pilot who died without declaration of love
cross and they compliment each other and solve missing part. It's filled with young and fresh sensation.
She also had a great little part in "Lawless" another excellent movie that takes place in the prohibition era. Great reviews , not a great audience following.
This film is unique because it both celebrates the clichés of movies like A Walk To Remember, and tears them down by doing its own thing. It's a film I feel is very underrated. It's not going to stand out as one of the greatest, but if you need a good Friday or Saturday night rental, you can't go wrong with this one. 8/10.
What a great actor he is! I truly hope he continues with his acting career.
Light though it may be, gradual exposition does little to compensate for a disconcerting lack of immediate development that shakes the hook of the drama, as it is so light, at least to where, despite the worthy performances, it's difficult to get invested into a lot of the eccentricities which define the leads. If you find difficulty in getting used to the offputting characterization, you're sure to find difficulty in getting used to certain offputting dramatics, as this is an often improbable melodrama that is often genuine enough to resonate for what it is, and just as often too saccharine for comfort. If nothing else can be said about the histrionics, they're unique, and even then, it's only a matter of time before this often truly refreshing melodrama conforms, and such tropes are made all the more frustrating by their clashing with the unique attributes that, if undisturbed, could have made the effort more compelling. With that said, the film was never to be all that compelling, because as charming and moving as this dramedy gets to be, its story concept's weight is relatively light, almost bland in its minimalism, not helped by blandness to the interpretation. Even Jason Lew's script has bland issues in pacing, because even though the film dances around a runtime of only an hour-and-a-half, it still has a tendency to get caught up in repetitious filler whose dragging is really felt through dry spells in Gus Van Sant's directorial momentum. I joked about the film being kind of dull at times, but there really are more than a few boring spots to punctuate a certain consistency to blandness, deriving from conventions and pacing issues that betray what potential there is to a minimalist narrative. The final product is more forgettable than it ought to be, although I won't say that it falls as flat as many say it do, adequately endearing, at least as cute, even with, of all things, its soundtrack.
Combining delicate indie music sensibilities with some subtle notes from his own trademark whimsy, the great Danny Elfman composes a score that might not exactly be all that unique in general, but is unique for Elfman, whose light tastefulness, while lacking in flare and dynamicity, is lovely and complimentary to the eccentric charm of the film. Visual style further adds to the film's distinct flavor, with Harris Savides delivering on handsome cinematography whose dry coloration makes certain lighting all the more distinguished, and has plenty of opportunities to polish plenty of Oregon Autumn visuals that capture a sense of life in the middle of the fading of a chapter in life. For such an effective play on visual style, Gus Van Sant's direction deserves some credit, for although Van Sant is not as inspired in his thoughtful directorial style as he has been, when his classic meditativeness bites, it endears, whether it be making the light humor thoroughly charming, or making the more genuine aspects in the drama pretty moving, and complimentary to pretty worthy thematic depths. As I said earlier, the story, while not lacking in dramatic value, is lacking in narrative dynamicity, and on top of that, it's uniqueness is betrayed by conventional storytelling spots, though not obscured, because through all of tropes is a genuinely refreshing story with very valuable themes on embracing life and love, even when it begins to grow faint, that stand to be more haunting, yet are still done a fair bit of justice, by clever highlights in Jason Lew's scripting. Lew's characterization is particularly strong, betrayed by expository shortcomings and, well, histrionics, yet still unique and worthy, drawing a pair of intriguing, if overly eccentric leads who go brought to life by worthy lead performances. Everyone fills his or her part pretty well, but it really is the leads who really keep things going, with Henry Hopper nailing the awkward charm and eventual devastating emotional instability of an eccentric youth distanced from the world by loss and other personal demons, while Mia Wasikowska encompasses the subdued discomfort that defines an eccentric on the bittersweet path to death. Between these two leads is a chemistry that is just as sharp as the individual performances, making for leads who carry the dramedy, but not alone, because no matter how much potential is lost, and limited to begin with, there's something endearing about this endeavor that charms and moves adequately, if improvably.
When it comes time to rest, underdeveloped and eccentric characters behind a melodramatic, occasionally formulaic, slowly told and all around conceptually minimalist narrative render the final product forgettable, but not so forgettable that you can disregard the tasteful scoring, lovely visual style, tasteful direction, clever writing, and pair of worthy lead performances by Henry Hopper and Mia Wasikowska that, behind a story that is still refreshing and worthy in a lot of ways, drive Gus Van Sant's "Restless" as a charming dramedy with powerful moments, limited though they may be.
2.5/5 - Fair