My rating: 3 reels out of 5
Director Gus Van Sant doesn't reveal all his character's cards right at the start. Enoch may seem like a crazy kid, but the reason for his madness is revealed as the story chugs along. Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper have great on screen chemistry together. There is a great one-shot character building scene between the two as Enoch introduces Annabel to his parents. Both characters are cast well. Henry Hopper fits his role well as a lost kid trying to find his way around life. Mia Wasikowska plays Annabel with innocence and gentleness.
There's really nothing special about Restless. It reminds me a little bit about Gus Van Sant's biggest hit, Good Will Hunting. In fact, there is a song in the middle of this movie where the lyrics are practically taken from a scene out of Good Will Hunting. It's not that the film is poorly executed, everything about the film feels like it belongs. It just seems like I've seen this somewhere before or it doesn't really bring anything new to the table.
Movies that center around death can be tricky. It's a subject that's not easy to face in our society and our main character is surrounded by it. Hiroshi, the ghost that haunts Enoch, was someone who chose to accept death freely. Annabel is in a situation where she can't choose whether she lives or dies. And at the center of all this is Enoch, who tries to understand death. It's not an easy thing to figure out and you need the guidance of friends and family to help you get through it, even though you may not be the one dying. It's the ones that are left on this earth who have to deal with death the most.
You may like this film if:
1. You like coming of age stories.
You may not like this film if:
1. You've seen too many coming of age stories.