Starring Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper. Rated 14A.
Oh, to be young, quirky, and doomed! For you, teens and baby twentysomethings, Gus Van Sant has made a tender, kooky cross between Love Story and Harold and Maude (those are movies from, like, 40 years ago), featuring an eccentric, troubled boy and an eccentric, dying girl. Not only can you bliss out getting weepy over their tragic, whimsical tale, but it’s set in the world’s hippest place: Portland.
Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper, who rather resembles his now-deceased father, Dennis), is a high-school dropout and loner—well, except for Hiroshi (Ryo Kase), the ghost of a young Second World War kamikaze pilot with whom Enoch likes to play Battleship and wander through cemeteries and along train tracks. Enoch also crashes the funerals of complete strangers. At one such gathering, he meets Annabel Cotton (Mia Wasikowska), who has a pixy hairstyle à la Mia Farrow circa Rosemary’s Baby (another super-old movie) and draws sea birds and reads about Charles Darwin.
Enoch has recently dead parents and Annabel has a brain tumour, making them a perfect match on some dating website. What is excellent—besides the winsome and watchable Wasikowska and Hopper—is that tweeting, texting, sexting, and whatever other horrible things you’re doing on your gizmos don’t exist in Van Sant and screenwriter Jason Lew’s dreamy, arty, anachronistic universe. And not only does Annabel have the coolest vintage wardrobe ever, but the faded terrain looks like somebody shot it with old film from the basement. Oh, and then turned on some Sufjan Stevens.
Restless is the kind of romantic tragedy that makes us choke up for the person who’s dying young (yet doesn’t really seem to mind) and for the loose-cannon, lonely boy who’s left behind. But mostly we get teary because it’s all so pretty and fuzzy and adorably hip and we like a sad little cry sometimes.
Watch the trailer for Restless.