From the desk of The Movie Snob.
How I Live Now (B-). What is the deal with this movie? It stars up-and-coming actress Saoirse Ronan, who has talent to spare (her recent appearance in The Host notwithstanding). It’s based on a supposedly-young-adult novel that won some awards and was presumably somewhat popular. Yet, I never saw a preview for it, and it opened in only two theaters in the Dallas area. And, in fact, I was the only person in the movie theater when I saw it! Anyhoo, it is an odd movie, and its R rating is well earned. Ronan plays Daisy, a Goth girl with some serious anger issues. Her mother is dead, and her father has shipped her from America to England to stay with some step-relatives. (It is important that they be step-relatives, because one of them is Edmond, a brooding hunk to whom Daisy is instantly drawn.) But this is a strange England, with tons of army guys everywhere on alert for some nameless threat. And suddenly, England is at war and apparently being invaded, and Daisy and her step-cousins are cut off and isolated in their little English farmhouse. After that, the movie gets surprisingly violent and ugly, and I emerged from the theater feeling a little shaken and brutalized. I cannot really recommend the movie in good conscience, but Ronan gives a good performance.