(2.5 stars) A boring movie that takes an odd turn and becomes a boring odd movie. It wasn't awful. It just seemed highly inconsequential. The performances were mostly muted and underplayed with a sense of detachment from their characters. Some cool ideas here and there and some images that are fun. This is probably why the movie doesn't fall completely flat. It might be just a matter of taste. So obviously, not mine.
The first 2/3 of this movie is rather boring: following the ordinary, realistic life of a 15 year old girl with a crush on an older next door neighbor. In the last third, there's magical realism as without explanation you see her fantasy life come alive. I enjoyed the final 3rd and the chaste yet Freudian dream- logic where she gets married after getting parental approval and goes to the beach with her husband.
I was perfectly content to sit back and enjoy a slow simmering summer film, even if it meant cliches about adolescent girlhood, but it rounded out nicely & really handles the absurd elements in a way I think directors like Michael Gondry aspire to but never quite achieve.
Similarly to another of MUBI's Special Discoveries, LE PARC, this film explores adolescent love in a curiously exotic and meditative way. Shot nearly like an Antonioni movie for its slow-paced but highly effective narrative, JOHN FROM is a coming-of-age story that feels colourful and surreal at the same time. Loved the last 20 minutes the most, where every sequence feels even more cinematically ambitious.
Nice framing, and a good feel for what it is to be young and bored. But this looks sometimes a bit like original-conservatism. By that i mean : wanting to be different but ending being different the way everybody else is. Is there a school (Fémis) or similar influences ? It does not look personal enough to me (though it is really well made, i don't mind). Still some potential, i'll be curious to see his next film.
At first I gave it one star; rethinking about it, it grew up to two stars; after a rewatch, here comes the third one – and who knows when will the fourth show up. A genuine, warm and colorful teenage daydream. I'm so happy I've changed my mind about it! I've pasted my first rating in the comments below: if you agree with it, please consider giving this a second chance! ↓
MY PORTUGUESE GIRL NEXT DOOR. For his first film, NICOLAU glances at Wes ANDERSON, adopting 1 acidic & naive style. After a painful & boring first half, the anecdote becomes pleasant & the end offers a pleasant surprise.= Pour son 1r film, NICOLAU lorgne vers Wes ANDERSON, adoptant 1 style acidulé & naïf. Après la 1re moitié pénible & ennuyeuse, l'anecdote devient plaisante & la fin offre une agréable surprise.
good movie, even if not that good. The style is like the story that has been told: light and colored. Basically it starts as a common summer story about a girl who falls in love with an older man. Something more comes out of the last 30 minutes: passion (if not love) of a young girl can color and reinvent urban spaces of a banal periphery.
Tepid, formulaic & contrived. As if the people who groom boy bands to be a little bit of everything (but not a lot of much) - or maybe some hamfisted AI that combs through and mimics existing works to make chilling approximations of poetry/art - made an indie film. Also couldn’t help wonder who its target audience was… Still, definitely not the worst. Plus Proust-like accuracy in depicting the 15-yr old mind. 2.75