Everything Before Us (2016)
Directed by Wesley Chan and Philip Wang, Everything Before Us is a unique analysis of love and relationships. I watched this on Netflix, I believe it was never released in cinemas in the UK which is a shame because this is a beautiful, wistful film. Set in an alternate world/ dystopian society in which The D.E.I. – The Department Of Emotional Integrity judges the public’s romantic lives and assigns each individual a ‘relationship score’. Scores influence everything including finances, relationships, employment, etc Everything Before Us follows 2 couples who navigate this world. One, a new young couple recently registered with the D.E.I beginning a long distance relationship at college. The other, an older ex-couple. The film is incredibly well written, bittersweet and realistic. Although the story line relatively predictable I found myself tearing up at certain moments because the character development makes you care so much about the protagonists through their moments of joy and pain. Pretty much the entire cast is Asian-American which was a refreshing difference to the american romance genre. Overall, I really enjoyed this film and if you have a Netflix account I highly recommend you give it a watch.
Catch Me Daddy (2015)
Directed by Daniel Wolfe in his first feature, this British thriller follows Laila, (portrayed by Sameena Jabeen Ahmed in her first role) who is hiding out from her family after running away with her boyfriend. Set amongst the backdrop of the Yorkshire moors Laila must go on the run when she learns that her brother a long with a group of men is on the hunt for her in her town. This film is an absolutely terrifying portrayal of a modern day honour killing in Britain although the phrase is never mentioned. Warning, There are gruesome upsetting scenes that stay long with you after watching. Sameena’s performance as Laila is brilliant supported by Conor McCarron who had great chemistry together. The cinematography is stunning and adds an artistic and unreal element to this otherwise social realist film. Overall, this is a difficult watch and powerful film.
I wanted to see this at Berlinale in 2015 so when I saw it available on Amazon Video I snapped up the chance to watch it. Directed by Anton Corbijn it tells the story of the relationship between LIFE photographer Dennis Stock wonderfully played by Robert Pattinson (Maps to the Stars, Twilight Saga) and the actor James Dean played by Dane Dehaan (Kill Your Darlings, Chronicle). Historically, Stock took some of the most iconic images of James Dean during his rise to stardom and the film lovingly re-creates and imagines these moments throughout the film. The production overall was beautiful including the costumes and sets looking exactly like the photographs which they show before the credits at the end of the film. Unfortunately the film itself is relatively dull, it takes a long time before anything happens and there is little character development nor any resemblance of a realistic relationship dynamic between Stock and James Dean. However, the people who made this film clearly loved the subject and it comes through with every scene so I would recommend simply for that if you are a fan of old hollywood and James Dean.