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Restless - DVD Review

Restless

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

GUS Van Sant’s latest continues his examination of America’s youth and features another fine performance from Mia Wasikowska but struggles to engage on an emotional level.

It’s essentially the tale of two outsiders, Annabelle (Wasikowska) and Enoch (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis), who first meet at a funeral.

For Enoch, the meeting offers some hope of re-connection with humanity as he struggles to come to terms with the car crash that left him an orphan. While for Annabelle, Enoch’s presence helps her come to terms with the life-threatening cancer she has been diagnosed with.

Seeing how both of these young souls confront their mortality makes for intriguing, often poignant viewing and is typically handled with sensitivity and restraint by Van Sant.

But the film falls down somewhat on Hopper’s portrayal of Enoch, which feels a little too detached to be identifiable. Hopper often looks and feels ill at ease with the burden of leading man status and struggles to make the most of his opportunity.

Wasikowska, on the other hand, is a vibrant, warm presence whose presence brightens up the film whenever she’s on-screen – it’s just a shame, therefore, that Van Sant has chosen to make Enoch more the focus of attention.

Not all of the situations the two teenagers find themselves in ring true, either… although a finale that offers some form of closure and hope does deliver a suitably moving finale that’s achieved in no small part because of the ground-work laid by Wasikowska.

She truly is the main reason for seeing the film, even though it won’t rate as one of Van Sant’s best.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 95mins
UK DVD Release: February 13, 2012