The world hadn’t been waiting for the Welsh Rushmore, which makes Submarine that much more of a thrill. Full of surprises and amazingly affecting, this is a film to fall in love with. Writer-director Richard Ayoade is already a rising star in the UK thanks to his work on The IT Crowd. With the wry comedy and dead-on observations in this debut, he has found a whole new canvas for his view of flawed youth.
Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) has two big ambitions: to save his parents’ marriage via carefully plotted intervention and to lose his virginity before his next birthday. Worried that his mom (the always delightful Sally Hawkins) is having an affair with New Age weirdo Graham (Paddy Considine, hilarious here in a comedy hairdo), Oliver monitors his parents’ sex life by charting the dimmer switch in their bedroom. He also forges suggestive love letters from Mom to Dad. His love interest Jordana (a spirited performance by Yasmin Paige) is refreshingly complicated; a self-professed pyromaniac, she supervises Oliver’s journal writing – especially the bits about her. When necessary, she orders him to cross things out.
Based on Joe Dunthorne’s acclaimed novel, Submarine is a captivating coming-of-age story with an offbeat edge. Oliver is a consummate anti-hero, as sardonic and self-obsessed as any postmodern Holden Caulfield, and Roberts plays the role with the necessary cocktail of stubborn egotism and gangly unease. Ayoade is clearly a devotee of Godard, employing snippets of music and riffing on his use of colour-coding. But even with the shades of Godard and Wes Anderson, this vibrant film comes off as a real original and marks the beginning of a career to watch closely. –TIFF
One day, in twenty years or so, that closing scene in the water will be as iconic as anything from The Graduate or Harold And Maude. It already feels classic.
The Artist leads. Conspicuous in their total absence: Melancholia and The Tree of Life.
"With his Bud Cort haircut and morbid sensibility, Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) is too smart for Swansea, Wales, an industrial city mired in
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Submarine 2010 Richard Ayoade directed and wrote the screenplay from the novel by Joe Dunthorne for this coming of age film set in the 80s in Wales, as noted in a written preamble… read review
“Sometimes i wish there was a film crew following my every move, i imagine camera craning up as i walk away, but unless things improve, the biopic of my life only have the budget for a zoom out” read review
I’ve seen more than one source call Submarine a “Welsh Rushmore.” The Wes Anderson connection (nothing novel in today’s indie sphere) is true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t quite… read review