RESTLESS (Gus Van Sant, 2011)

The late Dennis Grunes’ take on Gus Van Sant’s Restless. The late Roger Ebert also gave it a positive review. As far as I know, I’m the only other person (and the only person with a long life ahead of him) who did. But it’s always great to have your tastes validated. If this film becomes as popular as it should be, I’ll be able to say I liked it before it was cool.

Dennis Grunes

Indoors or out-, Portland, Oregon, has never looked so achingly, mysteriously and ethereally beautiful as it does in Portland’s pride Gus Van Sant’s deeply moving Restless, a fairy-taleish, brimmingly poetic boy-girl romance in and out of woods and graveyards at night, and infiltrated by restless ghosts and near-ghosts, and dreamily floating along the border between the sacred and the profane. It is a film about youth whom life has prematurely flung against the gravestone of mortal awareness. The boy, Enoch Brae (Enoch, as in Enoch Arden), lost both his parents in a road accident that also nearly claimed his life and, indeed, gave him three minutes of clinical death before his agonized revival. The girl, Annabel Cotton (Annabel, as in Annabel Lee), is herself terminally ill with brain cancer. In a moment of what he possibly mistakes for harsh truth, Enoch confronts Annabel with the “nothing” that three minutes’…

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2 comments

  1. John B. · · Reply

    I bought the DVD based on this review and started showing it (without previewing it myself) to a class of h.s. seniors today. We’re only about a half hour into it but we’re liking it a lot so far…

    1. I’d be interested to know if high school seniors (who have less of a sense of mortality) like it.

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