Saturday, 14 May 2011

Away We Go

**** 
Following the heavy main course that was 2008’s Revolutionary Road this is Sam Mendes’s light dessert from 2009. Away We Go is a feel good tale of a couple in their thirties (Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski) travelling around North America looking for somewhere to put down roots. Here’s the kicker: she is six months pregnant with their first child. They visit friends and family in different locales, searching for inspiration as to where to raise a family. Rudolph and Krasinski make a cute couple but their nearest and dearest (mostly) turn out to be vile. The results are comical but the film does possess a strong dramatic bent. It manages to entertain (chiefly through laughs) while maintaining realism and authenticity.

Real life couple (Vendela Vida and Dave Eggers) have written a warm and funny first script and it’s a splendid debut. Sam Mendes displays further versatility as a director. (To emphasise this point, next up for him: Bond 23!) He shows a playfulness we’ve not yet seen him reveal. (While American Beauty is funny it does have an ever-present sense of impending doom.) He also has a very good eye – every shot is thoughtfully worked out and there are some very attractive visuals of that most cinematic of countries.

It’s a perfect film to watch curled up on the sofa with someone you love (as I did with the fragrant Ms. G). It’s also an easy film for both him and her to agree on watching. So put aside Death Commandos 2: Munitions Boogaloo, and there’s always another time to watch Failure to Launch a Wedding Planner in Ten Days. The message here is togetherness so follow its lead and watch it together.

 




2 comments:

  1. Bill Clay sat down to watch this film expecting to hate it and decry it as the quirky indie drama by numbers that it was.
    However Bill Clay was pleasantly surprised. Mendes has a real eye for cinema that belies his Theatre roots. The script presented some very stereotypical characters yet avoided cliche. Most of all the leads worked beautifully together and the final scenes were played to perfection.
    Filmchild is right that this is a film to watch with a love one, Bill Clay watched it with his partner, Barbara Detonators, and that night Nakatomi towers were blown......up.

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