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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

cinematic roots of: ‘Never Let Me Go’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Never Let Me Go, Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield are childhood friends destined to be organ donors in a dystopic parallel England where such things are a matter of bureaucracy and custom. This flick sprang from (among other films):

The Island (2005), in which Michael Bay explores similar ideas without letting any of the tedious idea-stuff get in the way of the running around and the explosions.

Children of Men (2006), for a film as similarly thoughtful as Go about a world familiar to ours but much more grim; here, Clive Owen is just barely coping as the human race heads to extinction when we lose our ability to reproduce.

One Hour Photo (2002), for more dark wonders from director Mark Romanek; in this, Robin Williams’ creepy loner gets too close to a happy family.

The Remains of the Day (2003), for more understated British drama, an unfulfilled romance between a butler and a maid in a country manor; like Go, it is based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Where to buy:
Children of Men [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Island [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
One Hour Photo [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Remains of the Day [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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