Never Let Me Go

Movie Review from The Movie Snob

Never Let Me Go (A-). I absolutely loved the 2005 novel of the same name on which this movie was based, so my grade may be a little inflated. But I don’t really think so; it is a moving story and the performances are very good. In the opening scene, Kathy H. (Carey Mulligan, An Education) stands in a hospital corridor watching the preparations for an operation. The rest of the movie is her extended flashback, going all the way back to her childhood at a British boarding school called Hailsham. If you’ve read the book–and I urge you to read it before seeing the movie if you can–then of course you know what is going on at Hailsham, and why it is just a little bit creepy. But before too long, one of the teachers at Hailsham (played by Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky) breaches protocol and bluntly tells the children the shocking truth. Then the children grow up, Kathy H. and her best friends Ruth (Keira Knightley, Atonement) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield, The Social Network). It is a story of love, betrayal,and loss. Judging from the sniffling in the theater, I’d say that mine were not only the only damp eyes in the house. Go see it!

Easy A

From the desk of The Movie Snob

Easy A (D). I thought this movie had possibilities. First, it stars Emma Stone, who was likable in The House Bunny and Zombieland. Second, the trailers made it seem like an update of a literary classic (The Scarlet Letter), like Clueless was for Emma. Plus, it has a good supporting cast, including Amanda Bynes (Hairspray), Patricia Clarkson (Cairo Time), and Stanley Tucci (Julie & Julia). But it just wasn’t very good. The idea is that Stone is a bright but anonymous high-school student in small-town California. She lies to her best friend about having a date with a college guy, and then she lies more and says that she slept with him. A brainless Christian fundamentalist (played by a strangely puffy-looking Bynes) overhears the lie, and Stone is instantly branded a floozy. Eventually she plays up to her new role, scarlet A on her tarted-up clothes and all. It’s not very funny or otherwise entertaining, and it left me feeling vaguely annoyed. Skip it.