Sunday, January 26, 2014

Young Ones (2014)

Director: Jake Paltrow

Writer: Jake Paltrow

Composer: Nathan Johnson

Starring: Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Andy McPhee, Aimee Mullins, Alex McGregor, Robert Hobbs, Liah O'Prey, Carel Nel

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Not all children have a childhood

Plot: Set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, one that dictates everything from the macro of political policy to the detailed micro of interpersonal family and romantic relationships. The land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, barren planet. The hardened survivors of the loss of Earth's precious resources scrape and struggle. Ernest Holm (Shannon) lives on this harsh frontier with his children, Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Mary (Fanning). He defends his farm from bandits, works the supply routes, and hopes to rejuvenate the soil. But Mary's boyfriend, Flem Lever (Hoult), has grander designs. He wants Ernest's land for himself, and will go to any length to get it.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Sundance Film Festival 2014

This is kind of a futuristic, sci-fi Western but then not so much.  While it's all of those things, it's also mostly a story of revenge on a couple of levels as well as a father's opposing relationships with his daughter and son.  I really dug it.  Paltrow (yes, he's Gwyneth's brother) does a wonderful job of making this little world the characters are playing in really, really dusty, dry and devoid of moisture.  I mean a really good job.  I was drinking a Coke during the movie but I found myself strongly craving water.  Really.  Michael Shannon gives a good, subdued performance which works nicely.  Hoult plays the bastard that fucks with him (and fucks his daughter).  Fanning doesn't have an awful lot to do but Smit-McPhee puts in the surprise performance of the picture.  He's great and he's 18 playing a 14 year old.  Hmmmmm.  We had something like that in another Sundance film this year, COPENHAGEN (2013) with a knockout performance from an 18 year old playing a 14 year old.  Well, he's very good and his character brings the picture around and wraps things up.  I'm looking forward to seeing this again and hopefully on an extras-laded DVD.

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