Dallas Movie Screening

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Like Crazy

Like Crazy is the most honest, beautiful, and sad love story I have seen in a very long time. Comparisons will be made to Blue Valentine because of the free form ad lib style used here, but this is not a film about the destruction of marriage like Blue Valentine or Revolutionary Road. This is a film about the truth of love, the beauty of love, the pain love leaves when torn apart, the struggle to fill the void that love leaves when it is gone, and what long term separation does to the passion that once burned so bright when that love began. For those of us who are seasoned veterans of the game of love and know what a difficult thing it can truly be, but still remain romantics in our hearts, this movie is close to perfection.

The basic story here is simple in its narrative structure. Anna (played by the fabulous newcomer Felicity Jones) falls immediately in love with Jacob (played by the continually impressive Anton Yelchin). This love is pure, sweet, and what any human being should strive for in life. The problem is that Anna is from England and because she overstays her visa she is now not allowed back in the country. This is the set up for almost a decade of longing, depression, spurs of joy, cheating, and endurance.

It plays out with such a since of the reality of the world that even some of those who I've heard speak to their complaints of this film all lie in their actions and not any specific problem with the filmmaking. The debates I've had about this film have been very interesting. Some people I've spoken to take issue with them seeing other people in their absence, some don't understand why he doesn't just move to London, some were upset about the lack of closure the film gave them when they left the theater, and many were heart broken because they cared so deeply about these characters. These are not debates that would have existed in your standard issue romance, because those movies don't really exist in reality. These are the types of conversations you have because the movie made you think, it made you care, it posed difficult questions, and then it didn't tie it all up in a nice little bow (although I would argue there could be no better ending to this film).

Like Crazy is one of the most surprising, delightful, and challenging films I've seen at the movies this year. A film that takes all the aspects of filmmaking and delivers them beautifully, from the gorgeous score by Dustin O'halloran to the wonderful handheld camera work by John Guleserian, and the pitch perfect performances by the leads. If it is true the art is suppose to imitate life than this movie is truly a work of art.

I also cannot tie my own review up in a nice little bow without talking about this amazing young actress Felicity Jones. She is a revelation in this film. A young actress who can release the love, fear, pain, suffering, and joy that this film requires, but make it look so natural that you will never question it's authenticity. Her chemistry with Yelchin in this film is palpable and the type of match made in heaven that any director strives for. We all must give a great deal of credit to director Drake Doremus for seeing this in her and bringing this girls talent to life. She has existed as an actress for some time in very small indies and British television, but I would venture to say that all that is over. She is about to hit the big leagues and I don't know about the rest of the world, but I can't wait to see what she does next.

Review by Nathan Ligon
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