MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 106 this week

How I Live Now (2013)

6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 14,136 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 55 user | 119 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

An American girl, sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available now. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 22 Mar 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 01 Jul 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "How I Live Now" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: How I Live Now (2013)

How I Live Now (2013) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of How I Live Now.
7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two teenage assassins accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until an unexpected target throws them off their plan.

Director: Geoffrey Fletcher
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel, James Gandolfini
Hanna (2011)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana
Byzantium (2012)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley
The Host (2013)
Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family - and her killer - from purgatory. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Eddie
Harley Bird ...
Piper
Danny McEvoy ...
Joe
...
Aunt Penn
Jonathan Rugman ...
News Reporter
...
Consular Official
Darren Morfitt ...
Sergeant
Stella Gonet ...
Mrs. McEvoy
Des McAleer ...
Major McEvoy
Sophie Stanton ...
Woman in Truck
Natasha Jonas ...
Woman in Truck
Nav Sidhu ...
Checkpoint Soldier
...
Beaten Woman
Edit

Storyline

American teenager Elizabeth "Daisy" is sent by her estranged father away from New York to the countryside of England to stay with her Aunt Penn. Her distant cousin Isaac welcomes her at the airport and drives her home. She is introduced to her cousins, seventeen year-old Eddie and young Piper and to their friend Joe. However Daisy is a resentful, needy of love and aloof girl who believes that she is cursed and that bad things happen wherever she goes since her mother died in her delivery. Aunt Penn is a busy woman who is studying the war scenario in England, which is on alert due to an imminent terrorist attack, and needs to fly to Geneva. However, the next morning, a nuclear bomb explodes in London and the authorities of the United Kingdom declare a state of siege. Meanwhile Daisy and Eddie fall in love with each other, but they are separated by the military, which sends girls to one camp and men to another. Daisy and Eddie promise to meet each other again. In a country at war, Daisy... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love will lead you home.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language and some sexuality. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How I Live Now - Maintenant c'est ma vie  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$28,547 (USA) (8 November 2013)

Gross:

$60,213 (USA) (29 November 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the novel, Daisy is 15. Saoirse Ronan was 18, when the film was in production. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Daisy: Imagine yourself being successful.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Projector: How I Live Now (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Garden's Heart
Written &bperformed by Natasha Khan & Jon Hopkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
From romantic sop to gritty realism, focused through the lens of pop veneer
17 December 2013 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is a young, broody, moody, American girl who is sent to stay with extended family in the English countryside. At first cynical about her summer arrangements and outwardly cold towards her jolly hosts, slowly she begins to thaw to their hospitable nature and thus begins to discover something within herself in this new setting – a home away from home. But just as she finds her place in the world, an unthinkable event occurs and everything is thrown into turmoil. In a World War III type scenario, she is taken away from those she now considers family in the first and with only the companionship of her young cousin Piper (Harley Bird), she must journey back across the warn torn English countryside, to the place she wants to call Home.

It's a curious pick n' mix type story that in some ways feels like two genres melded together. The immediate narrative feels very much like a teen 'chick flick', but this is played out over a dark backdrop that at times feels course and close to the bone.

To me, the running commentary of Daisy the American girl, outlining her disciplined set of rules and paranoia, felt a little cheesy in its attempt to force home the difference between English and American culture. So too do some of the romanticised elements of country living, such as the young fourteen year old cousin (Tom Holland) who drives without a license, or the dashing older cousin (George MacKay) who raises eagles and will suck the dirt out of a bloody cut. It's a pity because I felt some of the subtler signifiers, such as the character of the motherly aunt (Anna Chancellor), or indeed the setting of the old country home with it's beautiful but cluttered wood interior and the backdrop of rolling English countryside, spoke a thousand words that other forced elements could only ever hope to convey. In this way I felt the scenario in itself, a city girl living in the countryside, should have been self explanatory.

If you can manage to overlook some of the hammier elements of the narrative, the movie really gets interesting in the build up, and realisation, to war. Movies about atrocities of war generally maintain a degree of separation for the Western World viewer because of differences in geographical location, time or culture. Whereas, where zombie movies may deal with scenarios in a world as we know it, again we feel separated by the fantastical suspension of disbelief that has to be made in order to accept a universe where zombies can walk the Earth. How I Live Now is set in a time, a world, a space that is starkly familiar to our own and so the degree of separation --that this could really happen to us!-- is only a small leap of faith. Indeed, the detached manner of the news reporters add a level of verisimilitude as they sound very much like reports we might see on our own t.v. screens on any given day. And so the rate and horror at which we see State structures deteriorate after the bomb is dropped, can be felt vicariously.

By actually detaching itself from the politics, How I Live Now manages to depict a faceless horror to war that is far more disturbing than if we had all the answers at the ready. We are never quite certain, for example, what spurred the bomb in the first place: if it was an invasion from abroad or a movement from within. Are the government forces that split Daisy from her male cousins simply making poor decisions on her behalf? We are left wondering who the real enemy is, but that doesn't really matter anyway, as soon we learn that even in a war of 'sides', those caught in the middle can only become victims. The pile of bodies that Daisy shifts through is a scene that echoes real life atrocities and dumps the reality at our door. The story is powerful in this way, because even though it speaks through a 'pop' veneer, still it touches upon the human condition. Our heroine cannot hope to change outcomes outright, but rather, in a grim reality, try only to traverse a topsy-turvy environment haphazardly.

So overall, does the movie work? Perhaps not entirely for the reasons I stated above. The over romanticised elements may prove too much for some. Again, we have some Lassie Come Home moments in the later half of the movie which bordered on cheese for me. And yet I can't help but feel drawn to this flick – I have to give it kudos for its attempt to nit 'realism' and romanticism together. It's a quirky number with genuine flavour and thus, despite my criticism, manages to stick out in the mind while other more generic movies fade away from memory.


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Can we talk about the incest for a second? blamesociety69
The following things I did not understand about the movie and left me... solatisa
Things I learned from watching 'How I Live Now' markbowen
You people are morons laurich
What the heck was going on? blaircam
Anyone else thought Saoirse Ronan should have got a BAFTA nomination: Posh_babe
Discuss How I Live Now (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?