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
Kevin Macdonald chose to film the first half of the film with a hand held camera to give the paradise-like countryside home a sense of humanity, as though the camera was alive and breathing. The second half of the film was shot in a more steady and smoother style to make the war torn countryside more sharp and unforgiving, as though the camera was mechanical. See more »
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"During the war, we stopped looking for reasons why things happen"
HOW I LIVE NOW is a poignant, disturbing, enthralling, and horrific film. Wonderful soundtrack and natural imagery that contrasts beautifully with the ugly and treacherous human world. Allegorical qualities: We don't know many of the specifics of who the terrorists are, the backgrounds of many characters, their full names, exact locations in Britain, etc. In those and many other respects, HILN is more for the heart than the head.
Good performance by Saoirse Ronan as Daisy, a brash, cantankerous, and troubled American teenager who is sent to live with some distant relatives in the English countryside. Ditto for the others who play the various teenagers and children. However, the relationship between Daisy and Eddie develops a bit suddenly and unconvincingly; with everything else that is happening here, the character development suffers. I have not yet read Meg Rosoff's original novel, but I would guess that it is yet another book that can never be done justice on screen. Nevertheless, I found this film well worth watching, and it should prove especially useful as a basic illuminator for the book.
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