Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wistful Thinking: Mark Romanek's "Never Let Me Go"

"That rare find, a fragile little four-leaf clover of a movie that's emotionally devastating, yet all too easily trampled by cynics. " - Peter Debruge, Variety.

Never Let Me Go is a tone poem.

If I were a  painter I'd paint you grey English skies over cold English seas to give you a sense of the beauty of this movie.

If I could play music it would be the piano, slow, tinkling delicate sadness so you could know how this movie effected me. Better yet I'd be a symphony, a famous one, Dvorak's "New World," his ninth symphony, but then only the most heart-shuddering moments from the second movement.

If my favourite books really do break my heart as they heal my soul, or vice versa, it goes that way for movies too. I can't explain it. I'm glad I can't. But this movie has a bit of what Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood has, or what so many great Beatles ballads had (speaking of).Fragility is the perfect word, and probably so much of what made John Lennon's voice so beautiful.

If I'd read Kazuo Ishiguro's book that the movie was based on first, this post might have been quite different. I'm glad I didn't, so I could instead luxuriate in the sense-based wonder that took this compelling story from page to screen and did it with three wonderful performances.

If Carey Mulligan was a revelation in An Education, she is just plain brilliant in this.

If Andrew Garfield stars in this movie as well as The Social Network and has already been cast as Peter Parker in the next Spiderman movie, it's for good reason.

If I couldn't have cared less about Keira Knightley after she kept making pirate movies ... well, all that's changed now.

If I hadn't had to wait to leave the theatre, embarrassed that I'd cried and needed to clean up as I did, maybe I wouldn't be recommending this movie.

Never Let Me Go is a tone poem.

And if that kind of elegiac beauty speaks to you I say go. 


  1. The book is beautifully written. I read it a few years ago, and it left an impression.
    I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

  2. And I look forward to reading the book. Though your journey, from book to movie, is always the harder one.

  3. I haven't read the book but I've been told that it's marvellous. I'm looking forward to watch the movie. Great blog, by the way! Cheers, Tore (we met at Indigo last Friday if you remember!)

  4. Hey Tore. Thank you for visiting, commenting. I do remember, he says, thinks, hopes.

  5. NOW I remember! Sorry, Tore. Going on your first name alone, I thought you were Japanese. Of course I remember you and your lovely wife. Hope the novel writing goes well and will be in touch on email.

  6. Veronica11:58 p.m.

    I read the book recently. Lovely.

  7. Hmm.. had just convinced myself Not to read the book, Veronica. Now you have me re-thinking that one.


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