An Arab Spring-y allegory with kissing cousins and a divine countryside setting, Kevin Macdonald’s fourth narrative film is an awkward oddity, as uncomfortable in its own skin as its protagonist.
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Tender, humane, and searing, How I Live Now stands as something all too rare: a movie about young people that young people may love — but not one that lies to them, and not one built for them alone.
Kevin Macdonald’s slightly drab adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s popular teen novel would be nothing without Saoirse Ronan.
There are a few effectively disquieting sequences early on, but the film never recovers from director Kevin Macdonald's indifferent staging of a pivotal moment.
A gooey love story is pitted against the end of the world. No wonder the romance comes up wanting.
For every poignant moment there’s a gaudy dream sequence, wretched internal monologue, ham-fisted zoom or an exchange of dialogue sorely lacking nuance.
Wisely sticks to its protagonist’s p.o.v. while avoiding a longer view of the calamitous events around her, making up in emotional immediacy what it lacks in broad dramatic sweep.
Macdonald's film is a noble stab at bringing Meg Rosoff's YA novel to the screen, which sees Ronan in typically watchable form.
What starts as potentially interesting apocalyptic speculative fiction devolves into dreary sub-Hunger Games survivalism and banal teen romance.