Restless (2011) Poster

(I) (2011)

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Lessons to be learned
synevy22 December 2011
Restless tells the story of two controversial -but somehow the same- teenage characters and their perspectives of dealing with death. Enoch (Henry Hopper) has dropped out school and tries to cope and face his fears by attending funerals. That's how he meets Annabel (Mia Wasikowska), a girl with a terminal disease and a love for life and nature. There's also the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze Hiroshi (Ryo Kase), from WWII and it seems that he is a story inside the story of this film. Sometimes you may think that his part is unnecessary in the plot, although, in the end it turns out that he wasn't so much irrelevant after all.

The film is not as morbid as you might think. There won't be any moment where your heart will feel heavy. Every scene is a walk-through towards realization and the art of getting familiar with the absolute fact such as death and the importance of love and the "now" moment.

The photography is soft and atmospheric and so is the music. Keep in mind that the director (Gus Van Sant) is the one who also directed Good Will Hunting, a brilliant movie. I first saw Mia Wasikowska in Alice in Wonderland, then in Jane Eyre and i believe she's one of the many talented young actresses that'll stand out in the industry. Henry Hopper on the other hand is the son of the late -and great- Dennis Hopper. His filmography is still in its early stages but he seems very promising.
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Small gem, great tribute to Nouvellevague
Masako-230 December 2011
This underrated film was released just before Christmas in Tokyo. As a long time fun of the director, I enjoyed very much this beautiful film. It appears to be an ordinary boy-meets-girl story with somewhat quirky atmosphere, but inside I found the film is filled with homage to the Nouvellevague cinema.

Among them, I remember the film "Cleo de 5 a 7" by Agnes Varda (1962), which includes discussions of mortality, despair and the meaning of life. I also felt the airs of Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. If you love the French films in 60s, I believe you will enjoy and appreciate it more.

The line by Hiroshi (the Ghost) summarizes the theme of this film.

"We have so little time to say any of the things we mean. We have so little time for any of it."
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'About the hospital. I don't work there. I am a patient.'
gradyharp6 June 2012
Gus Van Sant probably understands the minds of youngsters better than any director around and he proves it again in this rhapsodic film about loss and love and loss again. His cast is so well selected that they seem to be an ensemble from a stage company, so well integrated are their relationships in this beautiful film written by Jason Lew.

Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis Hopper, and a very fine actor) survived a car accident in which his parents were killed: he remained in a coma and missed their funeral and the chance to in some way say goodbye. Living with his Aunt Mabel (Jane Adams), he now spends his days not attending school but instead going to strangers' funerals. One funeral organizer (Christopher D. Harder) notices his repeated appearances and tries to have him arrested for trespassing but he is saved by a strange girl named Annabel (Mia Wasikowska in a brilliant performance). Annabel also attends funerals: she tells Enoch that she works with children with cancer at a hospital. Enoch is wary of making friends - his only ally being a Japanese kamikaze pilot ghost Hiroshi Takahashi (Ryo Kase) with whom he talks about everything. But gradually Enoch and Annabel bond and Annabel reveals to Enoch that she doesn't work with 'cancer kids', she is one - she has brain cancer and is on short-term time. Annabel's sister Elizabeth (Schyler Fisk) and mother Rachel (Luisa Strus) accept Enoch's growing supportive love for Annabel. As Enoch grows form his experience with Annabel he no longer needs the presence of his ghost or his need for attending funerals and instead spends his time giving Annabel the best three months (remaining) of her life. How the story draws to an end is so enchanting that to share it would deprive the viewer of the magic of this film.

This is one of those perfect little films that glow in the heart. Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper create such memorable characters that once seen they will never be forgotten. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp
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Beautiful, Romantic and Sad
claudio_carvalho30 June 2013
Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper) is a morbid teenager that enjoys attending funerals. He meets the teenager Annabel Cotton (Mia Wasikowska) in a memorial service and they start to see each other. Enoch has lost his parents in a car accident and lives with his aunt Mabel (Jane Adams). His best and only friend is the ghost of the Japanese kamikaze pilot Hiroshi Takahashi (Ryo Kase) and Enoch neither goes to school nor has a car. Annabel is terminal with brain tumor and lives with her sister Elizabeth (Schuyler Fisk) and her mother Rachel (Lusia Strus). She loves to read about birds, especially the water birds. Soon the unlikely couple falls in love with each other improving their lives.

"Restless" is a beautiful, romantic and sad movie about love, life and death. Enoch Brae recalls Harold, from "Harold and Maude", a teenager with a trauma attracted by memorial services. Mia Wasikowska is wonderful in the role of the sweet Annabel, a teenager terminally ill that loves life. The story is sensitive and their romance is heartbreaking. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Inquietos" ("Restless")
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Food for the Heart and the Mind
eldestjay11 December 2011
I cannot tell you how much I adore this film. Restless is one of the greatest movies ever made. It's simple, but it's complex. It's confusing, yet it's still subtle. It's charming, dark, funny, romantic, bold, and shy all at the same time. It's truly a masterpiece, and it's one of the most under-appreciated movies of all time. 

The acting is phenomenal. Mia Wasikowski, is truly a little actress. She was the only good part about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and she adds charm, liveliness, and quirkiness to an already fantastic film.  I had never heard of the title actor before Restless, and after watching the preview, I wasn't that impressed with him. But during the actual movie, he took my soul on a journey. 

This movie is unbelievably good. It's honest. Not only about life, but about the moments in life that make it so special.  If I had to create a moral for the film it would be: Don't count the days until life ends, count the moments with the ones you love.

It truly is magnificent. It's A Walk to Remember, only with ghosts, snow angels, and a dash of lovable-ness that the Adam Shankman classic was always missing.
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Life and love is precious
dazworthy6 December 2011
Director Gus Van Sant is renowned for films that explore the lives of lost or outcast characters, and reveal their strength and beauty. And his latest film Restless is no exception.

The film tells the story of two free-spirited teenagers - Annabel (Mia Wasikowska) and Enoch (Henry Hopper). Annabel is suffering a terminal illness, whilst Enoch splits his time between attending stranger's funerals and talking to the ghost of a kamikaze pilot named Hiroshi (Ryo Kase). As they fall for each other, it becomes clear that they are exactly what each other needs, and their lives revolve around making the most of each moment together.

Based on this summary you could be excused for thinking that Restless might be too melancholy. But I think it is more a celebration of life. Don't get me wrong, the film certainly does tug at the heart-strings, but there is an appreciation and acceptance of the fleeting nature of life that overwhelms the sadness.

Van Sant has created a beautiful film with vivid images and masterful direction. It's also quite quirky due to its interesting characters, script and film score. The performances are very good (especially from Wasikowska) which I think add to the strong emotions elicited in the audience. Annabel's zest for life is especially inspirational.

In this sense Restless is so much more than a love story. It certainly makes you appreciate life and loved ones, and this is what I really liked about the film.
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A tender love story between life and death
saschakrieger25 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Enoch has an unusual hobby: He visits the funerals of strangers. At one of them he meets Annabel, or rather she meets him, he, the teenage boy always dressed in black ("I don't have any bright colors", he says), shies away from the living, he prefers the society of the dead. But Annabel cannot be gotten rid of so easily. At another funeral she turns up and rescues him from an inquisitive funeral director. The ice breaks and the two run off together. It's the beginning of an unusual friendship and later romance: For these are two people in limbo, hovering between life and death: Enoch lost his parents in a car crash which nearly killed him, too. He is alive and healthy, yet has tuned out of life. Annabel, on the other hand is full of life yet death has a firm grip on her. She has cancer and only three months to live. Both tread that wasteland between life and death, both in different ways. And yes, they both need each other, one to learn to live again, the other to walk into death with her held up high. One need not go back to Love Story in order to detect the clichéd nature of this set up. But this is a Gus van Sant film and the master seismograph of youth works his magic once again.

These two wanderers between life and death have fallen out of time, in their state of limbo it does not matter, it might not even exist. In fact there is a third such wanderer: Hiroshi, Enoch's only and, of course, imaginary friend, the restless ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot in World War II, a wanderer in that nowhere land coming from the other side. A strange sense of time permeates this film, or rather a timelessness. Everything looks and feels old, as if already past. Enoch's clothes as well as Annabel's are from another time, or maybe none at all and the same is true for the interiors. Everything is half hidden as if by a veil, it is a world not entirely real as neither protagonist is truly part of what we like to call the real world.

Yet, in a strange way, what we see is entirely real, as, impossibly, these two lost souls orbit around each other, edging ever closer, before they collide in the tenderest and wholly unsentimental way. They may be in need of each other, but it is much more simple than this. They just fall in love the way teenagers do, for the first and undoubtedly the last time. All is serious and playful at the same time and the two actors, Mia Wiakowska and Henry Hopper (Dennis Hopper's son) play this in such a spectacularly unassuming as well as matter-of-fact way that none of the cliché-ridden turns and set pieces this most conventional of van Sant's films is full of, do not stick and cannot plunge it into sentimentality. There is a lightness to this film which is made even more poignant by the heaviness of the ever-present death. For this is not a "normal" teenage love story, it is a dance with death, which cannot deny being in fact a dance with life. And these two totally unpolished young actors lend this a credibility all too rare in Hollywood today.

The story itself is as predictable as it is well-known. The odd couple holding on to each other to teach each other the meaning of life, the complementariness of the life-death ambivalence in the two central characters, the breaking apart of the deal they have struck when Enoch cannot accept Annabel's imminent death, their coming back together in the end, all these are well-worn clichés. Danny Elfman's unceasing and often borderline sentimental music is not much of a help. In the hands of a lesser director, this would have turned into an unbearable tearjerker.

Not so with Gus van Sant: Repeatedly he adds little touches which recall this from the abyss of kitsch into which this film might have fallen. Hiroshi's ambivalent role helps keep it afloat and so does a good dose of irony and humor. The silly fun in the morgue or the horribly cheesy death scene which turns out to be just playacting tip this alway back on the side of life. Restless is a conventional story conventionally told and far from van Sant's most daring films, a minor work maybe. But even so, it is, nonetheless, a tender, touching and even uplifting story about the trials of youth and what it means to grow up that can only be told by an observer as keen and sympathetic as Gus van Sant.
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A story about a boy who meets death, then a girl, and then love
napierslogs17 October 2011
"Restless" is the story of a boy who is restless with the living side of life and a girl, also restless with the living side of life since she just wants to get on with her own impending death. Enoch (Henry Hopper) is more interested in death since death claimed the lives of his parents and the life he once knew. Annabel (Mia Wasikowska) is a terminally ill cancer patient and instead of fighting her illness, is content living her final days studying nature. Until they met each other.

It's a story of boy meets girl, if you will. Except, these are not conventional characters, so this is not a conventional love story. The son of Dennis Hopper looks like he just walked out of the Cleary Estate from "Wedding Crashers" (2005) as the misbegotten son with creepy obsessions. The problem with this type of character in a drama is that he isn't endearing enough and he certainly isn't there for us to laugh at. Annabel doesn't hold her own life with much respect either (not that she has much choice with her terminal illness and all) but either way it's hard for us to care about her all that much too.

The most sympathetic character was Elizabeth (Schuyler Fisk, daughter of Sissy Spacek), Annabel's sister, who has no father, an inept, alcoholic mother who would be better off dead, and a dying sister who is perfectly happy with the finality of her life. I felt bad for her. The next most sympathetic character was Hiroshi (Ryo Kase). He was a ghost. If the film is starting to sound a little odd, that's because it is.

I certainly applaud the film for creating such odd characters with odd responses to life as it goes on around them. But because the characters were so far removed from anything I know, it was a little hard to fully appreciate them. It's still interesting enough and well written for those craving a small, independent movie about life, love and death. Mostly death.
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lasttimeisaw2 April 2012
A Febiofest screening, nothing signposts that 3 years after multi-Ocsar nominated (including 2 wins) MILK (2008), Gus Van Sant will cook such a cancer-ridden romantic flick grappling with a soul-healing recovery of a parents-bereaved boy after his short relationship with a dying girl although death has been a persistent topic all through his omnibus.

The over-simplified structure may impede Gus from a more spacious platform to perform his mastery, and precipitating an out-and-out snub from all sorts of awards consideration and the disastrous box-office turnover is fatal to destroy its investor's confidence, a total domestic grosses of $164,000 versus its $8 million production budget, which is a far cry not only from MILK, but also much lesser than its indie-alike PARANOID PARK ($490,000), signals that only Van Sant's loyal zealots showed their precious appearances in the cinema. Although smaller the scale, the film still holds steady its stunning visual mode, with bountiful layers of spiritual remedies to cure any scarred heart.

Plot-wise, there are nothing really popped-out, only the Japanese ghost-friend deployment has its exquisite enchantment and exotic luster, but is far from sheer original, which also coincides the film's suffering from the paucity of a one-of-a-kind uniqueness once one can notice among Van Sant's better works (say, ELEPHANT 2003, GOOD WILL HUNTING 1997, and MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO 1991), the story tends to be more lachrymose while marching on the unavoidable finale.

The two leads are basically serviceable, the tenderfoot Henry Hopper, who had just lost his father Dennis Hopper (1936-2010), is inappropriately in time for the role, handsome boys are never amiss in Van Sant's work. By contrast, a burgeoning Mia Wasikowska is the main magnetism on-screen, a product only cannot be stemmed from fiction as it's too ideal to be real.

Personally the film pleased me in a gently soothing method, but it is Van Sant in its very comfort zone without challenging too much of himself.
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Dark and sweet
rodolphefleury16 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I thought the acting was excellent, it's not actor studio and it's probably for the best. I never liked people who over act and think they're portraying reality (except James Dean and Marlon Brando in Apocalypse now). Sean Penn in Milk to me was unbearable, flamboyant and irritating. So it was quite refreshing to see Henry Hopper being so vague and timid, I thought he was touching, he looked hurt and lost and that was better to me than "professional acting". Mia Wasikowska was beautiful and charismatic. They were both real to me, they exist. It's no Elephant or Gerry and guess what it's not MOPI or Drugstore Cowboys either. It's Gus Van Sant doing a romantic comedy with his themes death, friendship and teenagers. It's light on the surface and dark below.

A film doesn't work necessarily by his script but by the feelings, the atmosphere and the tone it leaves you with. That film grew up on me hours after I've seen it. It made me think about life, just like Melancholia did (Melancholia felt to some people like a bunch of scenes where nothing happens, well it creates a whole thing, like pieces of a puzzle you gather altogether, it's not easy cinema where everything is explained to you, dully underlined, where you're being forced a message without having to think for yourself, like Paul Haggis's CRASH for example).

Restless is a good little movie, not a big masterpiece. Restless is a deep and arty film disguised as a quirky Rom-com. It has different levels of lecture. It's about questioning the time you spend on earth, what you decide to do with that time and lots of other

Some argue it's too clean in its depiction of cancer? So what? The subject is not cancer but the beauty of life and how death is part of life, and after all it is a romantic comedy so why show an ugly death? Furthermore some cancer don't disfigure people? I known a man who died a week after he got diagnosed, he had a brain tumour.

It's got a beautiful cinematography (Portland in autumn, great lights and beautiful colourful trees), wonderful themes (Life and Death with bugs, hospital, birds, Darwin) and nice soundtrack. It's a very moving film and it worked for me.
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A pure pleasure to watch....
JimmyCollins11 December 2011
Restless is an absolute pleasure to watch, i am a fan of Mia Wasikowska as an actress and I'm a fan of Gus Van Sant's more edgy stuff so i was a goer for this movie, initially it sounds like a kind of silly premise but quickly you fall in love with these two amazingly quirky characters and you suspend disbelief.

Rarely do young actresses like Mia Wasikowska come along, she is a fellow Aussie and she is in my opinion probably the most talented young dramatic actress in Hollywood today, with each film she becomes more and more terrific and this is no exception. The relationship between Anna and Enoch is just beautiful, Anna is a cancer patient who has very little time left to live, Enoch is a strange loner who likes to attend strangers funeral, they meet, become friends, that friendship turns into one of the loveliest romances i've seen in a movie in a very long time. These two people are just so strange and weird but instantly they get each other, its nice to see something a bit different like this.

Henry Hopper is my new crush now, he impressed me a lot, he has a very subtle nerdiness to him that is perfect for this character and his performance in Restless is wonderful, i cant wait to see what he is in next. This movie almost doesn't seem like the standard Gus Van Sant type of film, it still has the staple Portland locations but its a lot more accessible than say Elephant or Paranoid Park, but its a new style for him and it was one i found worked extremely well.

This movie is not going to affect everyone the way it did me i know that, but i really just fell in love with these two beautiful quirky characters and i think if you just let yourself be open and go with it it's something that is really rather beautiful.

Sad, Funny, Romantic, Quirky. The perfect movie for a rainy Sunday afternoon. Loved it, i cant wait for the DVD so i can watch it again. ;)
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Sad story , yet beautiful movie..
malarea318 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Well,the movie its self deals with a very serious burden,a fatal illness.Every movie from now and then has a similar topic like this, so it's up to the point of the script and the director to show every aspect of the situation.Luckily,this film without being offensive reveals a clever way of coping with all the misfortunes of life.The road of "acceptance" and "moving on"..even by the person who is going to die.The title of the movie "Restless" gives away the key to this movie,and personally i would say the key to everything.Be happy and never "let go" until it's time to do so,when it no longer depends on you and your perspective towards life.

The characters of the movie played by Mia Wasikowska(Annabel)and Henry Hopper(Enoch)seem special in a unique way and sometimes out of the ordinary,without this being a disadvantage of them.Even the "ghost"Ryo Kase,presented in the movie as Hiroshi is very sympathetic and helpful,full of emotions.

The score was absolutely amazing,i got "enchanted" by every single song in the film.

Overall,this is a very sweet movie although dramatic.I felt like i was there with them,rather than watching just a film..I definitely recommend it :)
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A flawed indie drama that misses its potential.
lewiskendell22 February 2012
Mia Wasikowska seems to be drawn to these quirky indie movies, and she should be because she's good at them. She's the best thing about Restless, a drama about an emotionally wounded young man, a dying young woman, the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot, and birds. 

Unfortunately, she's not the main character. That's Enoch, played by Henry Hopper. He's just not right for the role, and veers between unlikable and uninteresting. Restless also seems a bit unfocused, as well, as if the concept wasn't properly expanded by the writer into a full story. It starts off with promise, only to lose some of my interest on the way to the mishandled ending. 

As a result, the movie just isn't everything it could have been. I liked it, it's just hard to not be somewhat disappointed by the wasted potential. There are resonant moments throughout the story, but there are just as many scenes that just seem hollow or misplaced. Restless could have been very good, instead it's just okay. 
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The kids of Hollywood royalty (Henry Hopper, Bryce Dallas Howard) are unable to rise to the level of their parents
chaz-2830 September 2011
Annabel (Mia Wasikowska) has cancer, but don't worry, it's just movie cancer. She has a brain tumor which has a precise ticking clock on how long it will allow her to live, but she can still run around, dance, skip, and eat cheeseburgers and milkshakes. As opposed to what real cancer looks like, you have probably seen movie cancer before in the likes of Love Story and The Bucket List.

Enoch (Henry Hopper) has bad timing. He meets Annabel right around the time she learns of her depressing fate and discovers they share a particularly odd outlook towards the rest of the world. He spends his weekends gate crashing the funerals of strangers because he has an unhealthy preoccupation with death. Annabel finds this peculiarity attractive and they start building a relationship from there. Annabel does not lie to Enoch though, he is well aware from the beginning there can only be one result of spending time with her.

Enoch is not alone though. He enjoys the company of a ghost, specifically a Japanese kamikaze pilot named Hiroshi (Ryo Kase) who remains forever in the flight suit he was wearing when he fulfilled his destiny. Hiroshi encourages Enoch to talk to and spend time with Annabel and he is also much more active than your average ghost, but certainly not to a Patrick Swayze level. Hiroshi enjoys nightly games of Battleship with Enoch and even gets visibly upset when the word Nagasaki is mentioned.

On paper, these are three intriguing main characters that should have produced a wonderful, quirky film, especially since Restless is directed by Gus Van Sant. Unfortunately, Restless comes nowhere near to fulfilling its promise which is mainly a result of a poorly written script and shoddy acting. The screenwriter is first timer Jason Lew who adapted it from a play he wrote at NYU. This story may very well work much better as a play and observed with real time actors on a stage. His friend at NYU, Bryce Dallas Howard, saw the play's promise and produced Restless along with her father Ron Howard and his production partner Brian Grazer.

Those are some very influential names. I am shocked to see that Brian Grazer and Ron Howard would put their names and money behind Restless; we're talking about the guys behind A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster, and Arrested Development. Well, Brian Grazer was also behind Blue Crush and something called Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey! Perhaps it is not that strange.

Restless also appears to be one of those vehicles for the Hollywood kids. Henry Hopper is Dennis Hopper's son and this is his first lead role. Bryce Dallas Howard is Ron Howard's daughter and this is her first time producing. Annabel's sister Elizabeth is played by Schuyler Fisk who is Sissy Spacek's daughter. Fisk was also in Orange County which is another Hollywood kid's film; remember the lead character there was played by Colin Hanks, the prodigy of a Mr. Tom Hanks.

I mentioned the acting was the second reason Restless does not work very well. Henry Hopper is unsure of himself in his first lead role and any scene which requires him to be agitated, angry, or upset turns out to be a disaster. Mia Wasikowska is much better but comes nowhere close to her superior performances from Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre. She has a horrible script to work with and is unable to produce much good from it.

Restless was the opening film from the 2011 Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival. These films are reserved for "original and different" films which the festival organizers think deserve international attention. I can see why they would put a Gus Van Sant movie in this category because of his previous films such as Elephant and Gerry. Those two were absolutely original and different. However, just because his name is Gus Van Sant does not mean every movie he makes will be original and different; Restless is not. It is just plain vanilla and a waste of some major talent.
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Definitely one for cutesy space cadets
whatalovelypark18 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is a quirky little tale about a young couple, both screwed up in different ways. Yet they find something wonderful in each other. She has cancer and will soon die. His parents are dead. Yet they find love.

That's pretty much the entire film.

There are lots of scenes with the pair being cute and lovable. Of course, she doesn't show any symptoms, and she doesn't mind that he has an invisible friend, even though he must be at least 16. Yes, the story line would be more believable if they were five-years-old. But as near adults it's very sickly sweet.

It is also very male biased. Most of the content is about the male character, while the female is this perfect entity for him to interact with, less real, in many ways, than his imaginary friend. In fact, we're never actually told how the rest of her family feels about her death.

It would have been better if the film was cut down to 45 minutes, and the next 45 minutes explained to us how the male character was going to be a successful adult while talking to his imaginary friend.
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Death-obsessed beauty.
hello-310-6266109 March 2012
I don't know about you, but as great as Dennis Hopper was, I was never able to love him. He was so mean and frightening – all those horrid things he put poor Keanu and Sandra through on that bus, the sacrifices that Jack had to make to get him in 24 and that frankly frightful tongue in Super Mario Bros. But, finally, from his loins, comes something I can love – wee little Henry.

He seems to be carved from the finest tree in the Gus Van Sant forest of indie-actors, whilst having a face perfect enough for the inevitable actor-cum-model turn for the odd glossy magazine.

Death, cancer and all that stuff is hard enough to deal with when you're an adult, but when you're abandoned by your parents to make sense of this world and all its harshness, there's really only one place to go and that's off the rails. Finding yet more death in his imaginary friend and his new girlfriend, young Enoch is just a little bit dark and kooky.

And talking of his girlfriend, is there nothing that Mia Wasikowska isn't in these days. Six months ago it was Amy Ryan who seemed to be in every movie in the cinema, film on iTunes and series on TV; but for the past couple of months Mia has been everywhere. I just caught, and fell in love with, her in In Treatment; and here, well she continued to win me over.

I love a film about grief – and this one is beautiful, cute, and has that little Romeo and Juliet vibe. And a little note to the film's stylist – loving your work.
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like everyone but not much of a story
SnoopyStyle30 November 2015
Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper) has an imaginary friend in the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot. He likes to crash funerals. He meets Annie Cotton (Mia Wasikowska) at the funeral of a cancer kid. She lives with her mother Rachel and sister Elizabeth (Schuyler Fisk). Mabel Tell (Jane Adams) is Enoch's aunt and guardian. Annie and Enoch begin a relationship. She has cancer and only months to live. He has to process the losses that he has suffered.

This is a slow contemplative movie from Gus Van Sant. The imaginary pilot feels a bit gimmicky. Henry Hopper does an able job as an odd introvert. Fisk has some good scenes. Mia continues to shine. I like everybody but there is no tension. The movie mopes around in yet another sick person romance.
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weak script
CountZero31325 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A high school dropout who crashes funerals is on the verge of getting his comeuppance when he is rescued in a meet-cute by a quirky female who tells him she works in a cancer ward for kids. In fact, she herself is a patient, and the two youngsters bond during the last three months of her life.

The films' triumphs are it largely avoids sentimentality, achieving a bittersweet, elegiac tone, though mostly (perhaps deliberately) falls short of pathos.

Those triumphs are lightly scattered through however, in a sea of boring or bizarre moments that fail to gel into any meaningful whole. Enoch (Henry Hooper) lost his parents in an automobile accident that left him in a coma for three months. This means he missed his parents funeral, which he still fumes about. He blames his aunt for holding the funeral when he couldn't attend. I am not sure if the writer intends Enoch to come across as an ignorant brat here - you rail against the woman who cooks and cleans for you because she did not hold up a funeral indefinitely to see if you lived or died? Enoch's dullard credentials are further established when he states, having 'died' for three minutes after the accident, that there is nothing after death - despite the very clear evidence of him having a ghost for a best friend. He ludicrously takes a sledgehammer to his parents' gravestone, but never thinks once to ask his friend from the afterlife to help him contact his parents. He's quirky, he's marginalised, and totally implausible.

Unfortunately, Annabel (Mia Wasikowka in a tonally flawless performance) falls for him, and has to put up with playing catalyst in Enoch's redemptive narrative, despite the fact that her tale is more interesting and more of a challenge. An implied jealousy with her sister is only lightly touched upon, and a hard-drinking mother is shown but the problems that would inevitably throw up are regrettably not explored.

I suspect the families of young cancer victims might not welcome this depiction. Annabel skates, runs in the forest, and has sharp eyes and a fabulous complexion - all the while dying of cancer. Pacific War veterans - on both sides - might also have a few issues with Hiroshi (Ryo Kase giving it a decent go), the kamikaze ghost. Quite what this character's function is remains problematic. There is no disputing he is meant to be real - the shot flow makes it definitive, having him stand outside Annabel's house to witness her physical demise. (Slight tangent, but why does a ghost that no one can see feel the need to stand outside and peek in the window? He could stand naked on the kitchen table for all it matters). At times his comments seem to encourage Enoch to recognise the ephemeral nature of life and live it to the full. At other times, he seems strangely ambivalent about his kamikaze role - is his relish for playing 'battleships' meant to be ironic? He is pedantic about labelling hara-kiri properly as 'seppuku', but he is happy to be called kamikaze when tokkotai is more accurate. When he changes clothes, finally, he dresses like the Emperor Hirohtio in the infamous photo with Macarthur. What, intertextually, is going on here? As much as the three young leads are easy on the eye and know their acting chops, the characterisation is vapid and hardly explored, and the pronouncements on life, death and the meaning of the universe are bitty and contradictory. For the last thirty minutes, I was literally struggling to stay awake.

It reminded me of Shunji Iwaia's 'Vampyr' - lots of healthy-looking young people moping about pontificating about death, inside lovely pictures, adding up to pretty much nothing.
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Sad, funny, quirky and romantic! (Love in the face of Death)
akash_sebastian23 March 2012
Gus Van Sant rarely makes bad movies. I've liked him him since 'My Own Private Idaho', and who can forget masterpieces like 'Good Will Hunting' and 'Milk'? With a gloomy premise involving a cancer-stricken girl (who's going to witness death) and a recently-out-of-coma funeral-crashing guy (who nearly witnesses death), people might lose interest in the beginning itself. But, it's a beautiful movie which explores love, life and death, and challenges our ideas surrounding death.

Many may find the movie slow, unconventional and hollow... But, it really worked for me. It's sad, funny, quirky and romantic! All the three lead actors, Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper and Ryo Kase fit their roles very well. Mia Wasikowska is an incredible young actress who has been part of wonderful movies like 'The Kids Are All Right", 'Jane Eyre' and 'Albert' Nobbs'.

Starting with Beatles' "Two of Us", and with the addition of one of my favourite French songs ("Je ne veux pas travailler") in the background score, it makes me love the movie even more...

I loved the character of the Japanese Kamikaze Ghost, and his character summarizes the movie well.
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Every Day Is Like Sunday...
souledonmusic17 August 2015
" I've read a ton of patronizing and harsh reviews of this film that nearly dissuaded me from seeing it. From the very beginning, it seems the viewer has a distinct choice to make: filter the entirety of the film though the lens of reality/cynicism, OR embark on a visceral journey back to a time and emotional space of innocence lost. From a purely pragmatic point of view, this movie amounts to little more than over-dramatized emotional drivel: the cinematic equivalent of the most-maudlin-ever Morrissey record being played on infinite loop. However, if you choose to return to the space of innocence lost, you will no doubt be invited to recall the many dark, magical, and brooding charms of adolescence. You'll remember falling in love for the first time; the ways in which you conceptualized and romanticized death; your growing estrangement from your family...and well, maybe even your first Smiths record. When experienced as a multi- faceted coming-of-age metaphor, this film resonates deeply without trying too hard to create a pseudo-sense of nostalgia. If you: 1) are a grumpy adult 2) never wrote a poem just for the hell of it and/or 3) have always secretly wanted to donkey-punch Morrissey, you may dislike...or even loathe...everything about this film.
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Last Days
tieman644 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Restless" finds Henry Hopper playing Enoch, a teenager who has recently lost his parents in an accident. Enoch thus finds himself caught deep in an existential rut. He visits funerals, dresses in dour clothes, is obsessed with death, resolves to give up on life, views everything as being intrinsically "meaningless" and routinely converses with an imaginary Japanese kamikaze pilot. Other morose totems litter the film: dangerous train lines, graveyards, corpses, hospitals, Halloween nights, ghosts, games of battleship, funeral parlours, diseases etc. The film is preoccupied with death.

Things get contrived when Enoch meets Annabel, played by a young Mia Wasikowska. Annabel has cancer, is about to die, is fond of wings, birds, flight and Darwin, and is upbeat and grateful despite her imminent annihilation. She, of course, teachers Enoch to love himself, life and be eternally grateful for "whatever few moments he is granted". Both characters wear Euro-chic and look like they've stepped out of a 1960s Godard movie.

The film is essentially a shameless rip-off of Hal Ashby's "Harold and Maude" - and the countless "oh my God my lover is dying of cancer" romantic weepies it inspired – only more formulaic, less smart and less touching. But it was directed by Gus Van Sant, a gentle soul, who manages to lend the film some kind of credibility. You sense that Van Sant understands these people, identifies with them, and you can feel him trying to skirt over the film's more contrived moments.

Van Sant's career tends to alternate between sappy Hollywood dramas and micro-budget, minimalist pictures ("Elephant", "Last Days", "Paranoid Park"). "Restless" merges both approaches; a kind of sappy minimalism.

7.5/10 – Van Sant did this stuff better with "Last Days".
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If Gus Van Sant were a billionaire, he'd never again have to make crap like Restless
jm1070127 January 2012
I hate giving any movie by Gus Van Sant a bad review, because he is one of the VERY few Americans who is capable of making truly great movies. (I even loved Last Days.) But - unfortunately for movie lovers - he has bills to pay, and his best movies are never blockbusters. So sometimes, just for the money, he takes on crap that is beyond even his ability to turn into a watchable movie.

The two stars of this one - and the tiresome screenplay - are just too irritating to watch. I wanted to punch Henry Hopper in the nose every time the camera looked his way, and when Mia Wasikowska launched into her moronic, nasal paean to Charles Darwin I felt like puking. It amazes me that the genius who made Mala Noche and Elephant - and the lovely bit in Paris Je T'aime with Gaspard Ulliel - wasted his time on this turkey.
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Death, love and then some more death with a side of jelly-beans and some wedding cake.
darkfury71-290-60916413 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Just like the tragic characters in the story, I went into the movie with such hope only to realize that the story is as dead as Annabel would soon be.

It's a story about a boy, struggling to come to terms with his parent's recent death. Enter the sprightly girl who saves him from getting caught for crashing a stranger's funeral. Predictably, the two fall in love and a seemingly endless montage of young love ensues. Calling the whole love affair sweet would be an understatement that even diabetics would balk at.

The story holds no surprising twists- although with each scene involving Hiroshi, you'll find yourself constantly re-drawing the lines separating reality and psychosis and then realizing you just don't care enough to bother anymore- and with no real revelations. They even fail to give any sort of insight into the realities of cancer. Cancer doesn't give you leave to frolic in endless wonderment of the world around you and it certainly doesn't put you in the mood for Halloween and a midnight snack after, it leaves you hunched over the toilet retching your insides out and reaching for morphine while people watch over you and tell you how amazingly strong you are.

This movie is just a slap in the face for anyone who has cancer or knows someone with cancer. Rather than creating hope for those unfortunate enough to live with the curse of cancer, it makes them feel terrible by grinding this improbable romance in their faces.

To top it all off, the protagonist comes off as a whiny, pre-pubescent little brat who is at best unlikable and at worst completely intolerable. More than once I caught myself cringing at his delivery until at last I gave up and walked away for a much needed break from his incongruous grinning and rock-throwing. (Also, the make-out sessions were simply uncomfortable to watch; which in fairness is only half his fault.)

The only saving grace to this whole movie is the superb acting of Mia and how beautifully her grace and dignity was captured on-screen. Unfortunately, none of that is enough justification to watch this pointless and disastrous portrayal of the final moments of a girl waiting for her end.
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Nice simple teen romance with a difference
blrnani26 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Basically, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Although the focus is mainly on the rather disturbed (and I won't say harmless, because in typical American male fashion he readily resorts to violence as a way to resolve his problems) Enoch, the story is driven by Annabel, a vivacious young girl with a sad secret. That they are both good for one another is undeniable, even for Annabel's protective (but not overly so) older sister. I wasn't sure how Hiroshi fitted into this until the end, and that realisation added much to the depth of the film. I won't say any more to avoid spoiling the journey for others.
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Awesome. Just Awesome
anis_ky15 April 2018
I couldn't get enough of this movie. It's a sad one ofc, as it's about cancer. But it has humor in it and a bit of comedy. A perfect teen romantic movie. I just smiled the whole time watching this. Both characters are so cute and great. Surprisingly, it's not sad. They made the sadness became happy tears, which are great.
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