1 hour, 37 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening, Intense Scenes.
Craig Roberts ...
Sally Hawkins ...
Noah Taylor ...
Yasmin Paige ...
Paddy Considine ...
Darren Evans ...
Osian Cai Dulais ...
Lily McCann ...
Otis Lloyd ...
Elinor Crawley ...
Oliver (Craig Roberts), is a precocious/pretentious 15 year-old schoolboy from Wales who is about to embark upon two daunting adventures. The first is to win the heart of, and lose his virginity to his classmate Jordana (Yasmin Paige), who is as mysterious, confusing and entrancing to Oliver as all females are to teenage boys. His second mission is to repair his parents' faltering marriage. Oliver is concerned about the possibility that his frustrated mother (Sally Hawkins) might leave his meek father (Noah Taylor) for Lloyd Tate (Paddy Considine), the smooth-talking mystic who lives next door.
Director Richard Ayoade (TV's "C/BC: A Rock Opera") ably tackles the themes of first love, adolescent awkwardness and family problems, along with a nostalgic recreation of a half-remembered past. But additionally, he manages to distinguish his film by investing this potentially clichéd material with enough wit, feeling and imagination to make it always feel fresh. The first hour in particular skips along with a thoroughly engaging sense of energy and confidence. And Craig Roberts' soulful and endearingly naïve performance quickly wins your heart.
Despite excellent, subtle work from
Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor, the scenes focusing on their failing marriage are markedly less compelling than Oliver's coming-of-age story, and matters aren't helped by the fact that the sleazy lothario played by Paddy Considine is simply a caricature in a film of otherwise sensitive performances.
The pacing drags somewhat in the final third, and for all of its keen observations of the emotional turbulence of teenage life, the film lacks any real emotional impact when all is said and done. Nevertheless, Submarine gets so many details right, that it leaves you with a feeling of warm affection and complete satisfaction.