You will know Gus Van Sant by a spate of films dealing with emotive angst. His film–making style is often focussed upon dramatic themes that are purposely subdued. This is executed using curious soundscapes mixed with popular music tracks and rattling cinematography. Favourites among these are the enigmatic Elephant and Paranoid Park.
His latest offering continues in this fashion. In Restless, the coming–of–age film recieves a dose of sublte sublimity. Van Sant visits a foray into a whimsical, dreamy, and ultimately cute exploration of youth dealings with death. Although buoyed by such clichés as the dual parental car crash fatality; we contrarily find the double leads Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper charming in their fine performances. There are also a handful of nods to favourite adolescent films including Empire of the Sun and Stand By Me. If you can stomach the endless melancholy of the soundtrack then you‘ll most likely relish this as such a sweet film.
Restless opens at Cinema Nova on December 1st.