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Jack and Diane, two teenage girls, meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane's charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack's tough skinned heart. But, when Jack discovers that Diane is leaving the country in a week she tries to push her away. Diane must struggle to keep their love alive while hiding the secret that her newly awakened sexual desire is giving her werewolf-like visions. Written by
I've been waiting years for this movie...and it was worth the wait. I first heard about this film maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and I've followed it all the way through its development. It was off to a rocky start with many casting changes (originally set to star Olivia Thirlby and Ellen Page), and also suffered funding issues, but this doesn't show in the final product.
Let me start off by saying that this film is at its heart, a beautiful love story. Jack (Keough), though tough skinned and sometimes a jerk, proves to be an extremely likable character. Jack is a typical rugged tomboy, but also hides an extremely vulnerable hopeless romantic underneath. Diane comes off first as childish, through the way she dresses and speaks, but she hides a deep intensity and is in actuality very strong and multifaceted. Both actresses are fearless and play their respective roles remarkably. The story line is not arced with the stereotypical first-love plot; it had many twists and turns and was deep and complicated, but the filmmaker made it work on the screen. This movie also had many quirky moments interspersed, that were quite laughable. My favorite part besides Keoughs and Temples performances is the cinematography (and its musical pairings, but more on that later). Gray, the director, shot a picturesque and dream-like movie. The best example of this is the scene where Jack and Diane first kiss in the club; it takes your breath away. Each frame is near perfection, but viewer be forewarned this is a slow movie. There are many awkward (but poignant) moments that draw you in and make you feel just as uncomfortable as the characters. To me, this is the whole point of cinema, to make a viewer feel certain emotions, and this film achieves that admirably. If you are not used to slow films with sparse dialogue, you won't like this one.
Now to the nitty gritty, specifically "the monster" and the animations by the Brothers Quay. The fact that this was a "werewolf" movie is what drew me to this project in the first place, but that really is not what this film came to be. There is a monster and it is a throwback to the beastly werewolves of lore. However, this "monster" represents Diane's awakening sexual desire. As the film progresses and the monster in Diane awakens she shows her intense and passionate side more and more. The Brothers Quay animations didn't do much for me, but they are unique and add to the horror aspect of this movie. Speaking of celebrities, Kylie Minogue's performance is somewhat underwhelming. Had I of not known she was in the movie beforehand, I would have never taken a second look at her character. Which is not to say it was badly acted, in fact it was acted so well, it just didn't stand out.
What did stand out surprisingly, was the music in this film, one of Minogue's own songs is in it, and it is incredible. The soundtrack suits the film very well and is extraordinarily beautiful, as it portrays the intensity or confusion of Jack and Diane's emotions. There was also exquisite attention to detail in many aspects of this film. The best example that comes to mind is how almost every food that Jack or Diane eat, they share with one another, and it is all colored red, which surely could be a metaphor for devouring someone else's flesh (harkening to the recurring werewolf theme). The ending is open-ended, and I'm certain this will leave most viewers confused and opposed to this film. However, I like a film that makes me think, one that makes me want to believe, and this film does exactly that.
TL;DR Not a film for everyone, but if you like unique love stories, superb intense acting, a dash of horror, and long drawn out scenes that are beautifully shot, then this is the film for you.
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