As I mentioned in my first post, "Restless" (in theaters now) is one of those many movies where boy meets girl when girl is going to die. Ever since "Love Story," that's been a signal to bring your hankies. Here, not so much.
“Restless” is a quirk-filled movie, and that’s a generally a good thing in my book. This time, however, one of the quirks is that the all the onscreen oddity, clever set-ups and attractive cinematography don’t add up to emotional engagement.
I’ve described this film before as “Harold and Maude” (in that he likes funerals) meets “Charlie St. Cloud” (in that he hangs out with a ghost) meets "A Walk to Remember" (in that she's dying.) There's also a bit of “Garden State,” in that they’re both a bit unhinged, with a dash of retro fashion for flavoring.
The strongest and most unexpected scene may be where the sweethearts (hard to call them lovers) fight over how her death scene should go down. People (i.e. sensitive people and dopes like me) should tear up at this movie, but I’m not sure how many actually will.
Henry Hopper’s character, Enoch, is as dusty as his name and so is Hopper’s acting. It’s hard to figure why Mia Wasikowska’s Annabel goes for Enoch except, well, he’s cute and she’s dying and she apparently could use a guy who will prove his love by memorizing scientific names and wingspans of birds.
Through it all, Wasikowska, with her unconventionally charming face, is the best facet of the film, showing that she can offer something completely different from the dour independence of her “Jane Eyre.” It's more reminiscent of her supporting bit in “The Kids Are All Right.”
And this movie, it's all right, too.