Thursday, 20 June 2013

Breathe In - 19/6/13 EIFF Opening Night

EIFF 2013 started with a silent sigh and not a big bang with this delicate and nuanced melodrama from Drake Doremus.

Keith (Guy Pearce) and his wife Holly Flax (little joke for all Office fans) welcome English rose and piano protege Sophie (Felicity Jones) into their beautiful home as an exchange student for a semester. Keith is a talented and frustrated musician who has sacrificed his dreams of being a "real" musician and settled for a life in the classroom in order to maintain a lifestyle he doesn't actually want or enjoy.

Slowly, but inevitably, Sophie and Keith fall for each other and when they eventually make sweet music together things, literally, come crashing down.

There is no doubt that Doremus has crafted a visually pleasing film or that Pearce is, again, very good but there is equally no doubt that the whole affair is dreadfully predictable.  One cannot shake the feeling that you've seen it all before...and that you have probably seen it done better before.

Curiously the last film that Jones appeared in that premiered at EIFF was "Albatross"...a film about a young English rose of a student whose life is turned upside down when one of her friends has an affair with her father.  Even more curiously her character in "The Archers" has also been involved in a similar storyline.  Jones is in danger of being typecast in a most peculiar way.

Artistic director and saviour of the EIFF, Chris Fujiwara is to be applauded for avoiding a "blockbuster" for opening night and selecting something with more grace and style but I am confident that over the next ten days I will see more interesting, surprising and entertaining films than this.

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