New Fox Searchlight release “Never Let Me Go” saddens and surprises

Not a review, but a brief look inside a new find AND a must-see.
from Suzz C.

This past weekend, Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s acclaimed film festival Telluride-by-the-Sea premiered a film that I almost didn’t see. Sometimes, these are the films that impact us the most. The ones that almost got away.

Fortunately for both me and Brett, our choice to see Never Let Me Go at Cambridge’s Kendall Square Cinema turned out to be the right decision after being faced with so many film possibilities last weekend. I’m sending these words off to anyone out there reading this — I’m not reviewing this film, I’m encouraging you to drop what you’re doing and SEE IT. Reviewing a film can often involve dissecting it to bits, expounding on how it impacted you, critiquing the actors or story line. I’ll refrain from too much of that, and from of course, going into the film’s larger story. You’ll thank me later.

Never Let Me Go saddens and surprises, just as my headline says. After reading this you will probably do a bit more research on the film and its story line — if you’re tempted, please DON’T. Most of what’s out there will allude to NLMG‘s romantic thread and stellar acting (indeed, there is that), but you’ll also read hints that something dark lurks beneath the love-driven tale. The film opens up innocently enough with all of us seeing the inner workings of a British boarding school in the year 1978. We see well-dressed, happy, adorable children, ages ranging from about 7 – 12 years. Their faces are pink and scrubbed, their clothes are pressed. The headmistress (brilliantly played by Nathalie Richard) obviously has great pride in her school and its students. The place is called Hailsham, and it is idyllic, nestled in the English countryside. For the next 103 minutes, I allowed myself to get totally immersed in the landscape and the innocent lives of these children, three of them in particular – Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy – all superbly played as young adults by Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield respectively. Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) brilliantly unfolds his adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro‘s sixth novel of the same name which was lauded by Time Magazine as the best novel of the decade. Ishiguro’s other story and screenwriting writing credits include The Remains of the Day, The Saddest Music in the World, and The White Countess. For those of you who know these stories or Ishiguro’s writing, his themes of decency, idealism, affirmation, and acceptance in Never Let Me Go should come as little surprise.

My hesitance to see this film centered around my unwillingness to see yet another love story centered around young, attractive characters that I couldn’t relate to. Plus, I’m not the biggest Knightley fan out there. She amazes, though, as do Mulligan and Garfield (most especially Garfield). There is Oscar buzz, and already the film is causing a bit of a rip in Hollywood. But, I’m going to stop here, and will again encourage you to make your way to the movies — just hold off from reading too much about it. Perhaps in a couple of weeks we’ll pass along a deeper look after Never Let Me Go has gone underground or been mangled by other reviews and spoilers. You’ll have a great time listening to interviews and reading reviews once you DO see it, though. I’ll be aching to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy your film journeys!

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2 thoughts on “New Fox Searchlight release “Never Let Me Go” saddens and surprises

  1. Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite books of all time, I am so happy to hear that the film is getting such excellent reviews, I can’t wait to see it.

  2. I’d be VERY interested to hear your thoughts on the adaptation. I would love to explore the novel — Ishiguro’s voice is just wonderful. Thank you for your comment, Marianne!

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