Paul Dano directs Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould and Jake Gyllenhaal in this 1960s-set family drama where a teenage boy starts to realise his parents are fallible human beings.
“Boy, boy, boy! Boy!” Confession – I don’t really rate Carey Mulligan. I might have to reassess that opinion. She is a powerhouse here. Shifting personality from Madonna to Whore in her son’s eyes when in reality she’s just surviving. Gyllenhaal is superb as usual as the depressed, unreliable father. His performance reminded me of Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life but this film is far subtler and controlled in its pretensions. Like The Ice Storm, this gets a sense of time, humanity and loss of innocence from the POV of a teenager absolutely correct. Dano is going to be a sensitive director of actors with a nicely restrained visual sense – his use of both colour and long shots are excellent. This is tense, heartbreaking but non-judgemental piece of debut filmmaking. I’m excited to see what he does next. Amanda Ford’s costume design is also spot-on.
Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/