Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Rose Byrne

QuickView: Juliet, Naked (2018)

“I may look like a nice, well-adjusted English lady in a sensible cardigan, but these days it’s a thin veneer, and it’s started to crack.”

Annie Platt

Based on the book by Nick Hornby, the film’s first hurdle is the preposterous premise of a woman inadvertantly connecting online with the rockstar recluse with whom her partner is obsessed. Provided you can suspend your disbelief, however, there are some great performances to enjoy in this light British romantic drama. Rose Byrne swiftly earns the audience’s sympathy with gentle charm, whilst Ethan Hawke shows aspects of his performance in the Before trilogy. The real theme is less romance than how we respond to regret either by remaining tied to the past or by looking to future possibility. Juliet, Naked may not offer any deep answers, but it is enjoyable to watch unfold and ends with a hopeful tone whilst avoiding the saccharine endings that plague most romcoms.


QuickView: I Am Mother (2019)

I Am Mother poster

“Mothers need time to learn.”


Low-budget cerebral science fiction is a fertile breeding ground for new directors and Grant Sputore demonstrates deft control and a strong (if derivative) vision in this tale of a young woman raised by an Artificial Intelligence within a closed facility designed to survive an extinction-level event. Mother’s design is much like a humanoid version of Portal‘s GLaDOS, and the use of a prosthetic suit rather than CGI gives her a weightier presence, particularly imposing in the scenes of her sprinting at full speed. It also aids the strangely disquieting imagery of familial intimacy between flesh and metal. There are strong tonal similarities with Moon, from the claustrophobic emptiness of an AI-controlled facility to Daughter’s increasing mistrust of Mother’s intentions and what she is being told about the outside world. The script isn’t quite as sharp and the package isn’t quite so sparingly formed, but it will be interesting to see whether Sputore can successfully navigate in the footsteps of Duncan Jones, Garreth Edwards and their ilk.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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