Submarine [2011]

I’ve seen so many coming of age films and enjoyed most of them. “Submarine”, written and directed by Richard Ayoade from Joe Dunthorne’s novel, is three-quarters of a very good indie movie. It’s a sharply written black comedy with an incredible eye for detail. The setting is Wales in the 1980’s, where we follow the story of Oliver Tate (a terrific Craig Roberts), a schoolboy whose life is a movie  in his head. His parents, played by Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins (“Happy Go-Lucky”) are an extremely uptight couple whose marriage is on the rocks, but are both worried about their oddball son. The heart and bitterness of the movie is the awkward relationship between Oliver and the weird girl from school, Jordana Bevan. As far as charm is concerned,  “Submarine” has lots and lots to offer. Mainly this is the result of excellent casting. Roberts, who’s simply outstanding, looks like a cross between Woody Allen and Arctic Monkeys’s Alex Turner (who incidentally contributed a handful of memorable songs to the soundtrack). But after charm what? I’m not really sure. After a solid first half, the movie slowly loses its momentum when it tries to focus on Oliver’s parents. I certainly liked the movie better when it was all about  Oliver’s adolescent affair with his classmate. Still, Ayoade keeps things interesting with a dialogue that is both witty and believable, and the overall result is an example of a genre that cinema has often excelled in: the loss of childhood innocence. And don’t forget to keep an eye on Craig Roberts, who’s simply a treat to watch.

Rating: 2.5/4

6 replies »

  1. well…I agree. Submarine was a very good movie with GREAT soundtrack. Craig Roberts’s performance was incredibly believable (all the performances were pretty good actually). my main problem was the second half..totally, I don’t want to repeat what you’ve said because I have an almost same I ended up calling it a “very good” movie but not an excellent one. but it has enough charm and wittiness to be recommended…and oh..what a beautiful soundtrack.

    • Definitely. I was a bit disappointed with the second half, but the first part is so damn good, that its hard for me not to recommend it. Also gotta love the soundtrack. Im a huge fan of Alex Turner, and he certainly created smthing special here.

  2. I love Alex Turner. Visually speaking, the scenes were beautifully shot and perfectly “blended” with music. talking about coming of age films..have you seen “an education” a couple of years ago? you liked it?

    • I enjoyed An Education a lot. But then again, Im a huge fan of Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard and Alfred Molina.Im watching “The Artist” tmw. I hear its very good. I love silent films.

  3. I loved it. Alfred Molina’s monologue outside Carey’s door was,for me, one of the most memorable scenes of that year. Don’t you think that Sandra Bullock winning the oscar over Carey was a little bit scandalous? & Yeah apparently “The artist” is considered the movie of the year by many critics. sadly enough i’m not watching too much movies these days, because i’m extremely busy working on my graduation project (which is a complex for filmmaking btw :P) i’ll watch all of them next week.

    • Thats awesome! I need to watch that project of urs as soon as its done! And yes it was scandalous. I admire Bullock, but Carey should have won the oscar that year. Shame!

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