ARIZONA REPORTER




Harvey Critic - 22/04

SUBMARINE, Grade: C+


There have been so many coming of age tales in the movies that one can't help wondering whether everything about teens has already been said. "Submarine" deals with a 15-year-old at the cusp of something or other, maybe adulthood, maybe insight, but probably neither. At the end of the movie, which is based on a novel by Joe Dunthorne and adapted for the screen by director Richard Ayoade, the intelligent, imaginative, but sometimes cruel Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) has not changed much. He is self-absorbed like every other teen, but so much into himself and his presumed ability to change the world around him that he succeeds only in making thing worse.


Bookmark and Share




Photo: Craig Roberts in Submarine (2011). Courtesy of the Sundance Institute © 2011.

SUBMARINE
The Weinstein Company

Reviewed for Arizona Reporter
By Harvey Karten

Grade: C+
Directed By: Richard Ayoade
Written By: Richard Ayoade, from the novel by Joe Dunthorne
Cast: Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins
Screened at: Review 2, NYC, 4/21/11
Opens: June 3, 2011

"Submarine" will remind movie buffs of the French New Wave ("400 Blows" comes only somewhat to mind) and will refresh the memory of others about films like "Rushmore," in which Max Fischer, a precocious 15-year-old, tries to court his teacher. Others will stretch their imaginations to compare Oliver to J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, a cynical preppie who makes wry observations about everybody around him.

Ultimately, "Submarine," however its imaginative and occasionally surreal observations about strange goings-on in Swansea, Wales, does not break new ground. However Craig Roberts's performance makes the going worthwhile.

Craig Roberts is Oliver Tate, who attends a Welsh school that requires boys to wear blazers and ties and who are well behaved in class unless you think passing notes is too disruptive. But boys will be boys outside the classroom as when one overweight girl has her school bag thrown around and she herself falls into a big puddle. Oliver is concerned about two events in his life: his parents' failing marriage, and (surprise!) his desire to lose his virginity. He tells the story with voiceovers that can become irritating as a means of disclosing information, as he relates how his parents, who have always dimmed the ceiling lights when having sex, have kept the lamps on full illumination now for seven months. He believes his mom, Jill Tate (Sally Hawkins) is conducting an affair with Graham Purvis (Paddy Considine) an old friend and new-agey charlatan, and is determined by spying on them to save his folks' marriage. The lad may have also inherited the depression that afflicts his dad, Lloyd Tate (Noah Taylor).

Most of the story finds Oliver winning the affection of a high-spirited Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige), though he teases her about hers eczema and finds her hands scaly (a possible fish metaphor since Oliver is often surrounded by water with a dad who is a marine biologist). Director Richard Ayoade wants us to admire how quirky he can make his movie but quirky has been overdone in indies for quite a while.

Unrated. 97 minutes. © 2011 Harvey Karten Member: NY Film Critics Online.

Comment Using Facebook


<<< PREVIOUS ARTICLE NEXT ARTICLE >>>


Latest Movie Reviews
By Harvey Critic


HARVEY KARTEN, Ph.D.,
Member NYFCO
At the movie's conclusion, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) states: "We've had life for a billion years. Now we know what to do with it." What does she think we should do with our lives? Presumably we should be able to stare at a gun and watch the bullets fall out harmlessly to the ground; look at a bunch of gangsters pointing AK-47s at us and have them drop their pieces and fly to the ceiling flaying impotently' conjure up dinosaurs and disappear just as they are about to gobble you up; and drive effortlessly down a one-way highway while watching cars pile up helplessly. In other words, while you may think that Lucy, who is steadily able to raise the capacity of her brain from the usual, human 10% to 100%, will be able to solve a Rubik Cube in 15 seconds, complete a New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in indelible ink, or memorize 154 theorems in minutes without ever taking high-school geometry, Lucy's brain is completely different. Sure, she probably could learn to speak French with a Montréal accent if she should get the strange notion to do so, but writer-director Luc Besson has other plans for this brainiac. She has the powers of a superhero: she can exercise telekinesis by moving objects and people from one place to another by simply willing it, can take a quick look at the unspoiled U.S. when Native Americans ruled the land, and touch the forehead of a famous scientist to discover that his six-year-old daughter had died in an auto accident. What's more she can look at an X-ray of a person on an operating table, discern that he has advanced, incurable cancer, and shoot the poor fellow because "he could not possibly survive anyway."

Arizona Newsroom
Pushing the boundaries of classical ballet, Spain's emerging choreographic powerhouse Alejandro Cerrudo presents Off Screen, a dance inspired by film. It's sexy and modern with eccentric moves. Ib Andersen showcases the elegant and intricate Symphonie Classique with costumes by Tony Award-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz,and Indigo Rhapsody, an arresting and athletic ballet danced to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will host six public open houses where constituents may review and ask questions about the 2014 spring recommendations for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear.


Finding Arizona Reporter


Sponsored Links
Arctic Cat Parts | Hyosung Parts | E-Ton Parts | CFMoto Parts