Oct 17, 2011

Restless [2011]

"Restless" was a little bit of a game changer for me. Watching this movie was an experience I will not forget anytime soon.

It tells the story of two young people, Annabel and Enoch, who share an interest for death and funerals, and the development of their romance. The two characters are strange, awkward, funny and so loveable, that you can't help falling for them, worrying for them and rooting for their love story, although we all know the ending will not be pretty.

Mia Wasikowska is wonderful as the sweet, energetic and calm Annabel; she just surprises me every time I see her on screen and this part is something she hasn't done before...and I love her for that. The big surprise was Henry Hopper, the son of the late Dennis Hopper, who, for his first leading part, was amazing as the sad, unsure Enoch. Great supporting parts were provided by Schuyler Fisk (Annabel's sister) and Ryo Kase (Enoch's ghost friend). The script, the story is pretty simple and straight-forward, but the magic lies in their interaction, the way it was shot, the cinematography, the soundtrack...it creates a great background for their love story to develop. Some reviews were not as kind as mine, but please go see it before you make up your mind.

This film was an emotional rollercoaster: at the beginning, you're curious, afterwards you enjoy their sweet romance, then you feel anger for Enoch's inability to help her, and in the end you just cry. It was one of saddest, heartbreaking movies I have ever seen. Don't think the end was shocking or anything, it wasn't, but the simple things that we were all expecting to happen were portrayed in such a way that no one left the theater when the credits rolled. You could hear some whispers, some quiet sobbing, but everyone was affected by it...I have never seen anything like that before. When I left the room, I could see that everyone had tears in their eyes, just like me; I cried.

Afterwards, I decided to write the review in a Starbucks. I never know if it's better to write right after you saw a film or just let it past a couple of hours. Usually my best ones are written minutes after seeing a movie. The sensation I had after this one was overwhelming: I can't really put my finger on it, but I was very impressed by it. What I can tell you that one feeling has stayed with me: I wish, one day, my film could trigger these emotions in someone's heart just like it did to me.

"Restless" will probably not have the same effect on you, maybe you will think it's boring or just a silly romance, but please do give a try and I hope you like it as much as I did! It has become one of my favorite movies of the year!


  1. Looking forward to Restless, I agree, love films that stay with you, and stir the emotions, they are the best, aren’t they ( :

    Even if Gus van sant as a director for me has been a bit hit-and-miss since Good Will Hunting.

    I heard Restless was inspired by Harold and Maude, a cult classic from the 70s. Hopefully not TOO similar ( :

  2. I haven't seen Harold and Maude, so I can't really say, but it's a good movie! Still, not for everyone! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Nice review, Aziza. I'm glad to hear that you were stirred and moved by this one. When I read that the central characters like to attend funerals, I thought of Harold and Maude, which I watched (off and on) quite recently.

    It's about a young man (late teens) who has an infatuation with death - the funerals and thinking up elaborate ways of faking his own death. He meets Maude, an 80 year-old, at a funeral and they fall in love. It's weird but hilarious. Anyway, it doesn't sound too much like that.

    Not a big Gus Van Sant film, though I did like Good Will Hunting and Elephant!

  4. Well, Enoch meets Annabel at a funeral and they fall in love, but she is 17, I think, so there is a difference! I will try to find Harold and Maude somewhere so I know better!It is a great film, as I said, maybe it just got me in a weird mood, but it touched me! Thanks!