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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘Never Let Me Go’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…

I suspect that this is going to be one of those films that some people are going to deny is science fiction — it can’t be science fiction! it’s got drama and romance! and no spaceships or laser blasts! — or else they’re going to dismiss it because it’s “only” science fiction.

I hope I’m wrong. This looks beautiful: Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan! And it’s about time Andrew Garfield broke out. And I expect something great from Mark Romanek, who made the very intriguing One Hour Photo. The film was already generating Oscar buzz before the trailer was even released, which seems kind of ridiculous at this early stage, but that’s probably due to the fact that it’s based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (who also wrote Remains of the Day).

In any event: It’s a science fiction movie for actual adults! Hooray!

Never Let Me Go opens in limited release in the U.S. on October 1; no Canadian or U.K. release dates have been announced.

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  • Isobel

    Oh now I am so torn! I love this novel, and the film does look beautiful, but . . . it has Keira Knightley in it. I cannot stand Keira Knightley. Although, she wasn’t doing her awful pout thing in the trailer, so maybe she’ll be bearable in it. I think I will await a review and then decide.

  • Erik

    See, this does what a trailer should do, doesn’t give away the story but makes me fascinated as to what it is all about. Especially as I haven’t read the book nor know anything about it.

    Add to that Sally Sparrow, Keira, Sally Hawkins & Charlotte Rampling and a ticket is already been sold to me.

  • Laura

    Didn’t I see Mandy Tanner of “The Beast Below” fame as well?

    Well, you know, “fame”….

  • Kate

    I can’t wait to see this. Beautiful, mysterious trailer and some wonderful young actresses in the film (KK, CM). Mulling whether or not to read the novel before the movie release…

  • Jason M.

    Keira and Carey are two of my biggest crushes at the moment. Keira’s a flat-out smashing movie star, one for the ages.

    Erik, maybe it’s because I read the book last year that I think the trailer gives away too much, particularly regarding the story’s emotional climax. But on second viewing, it doesn’t explicitly give away the “sci-fi twist,” which will probably be given much more attention nearer to the film’s release, either in reviews or in the marketing itself. If you become spoiled before then, don’t fret. It’s not about a particular sci-fi scenario (Kazuo Ishiguro spills those beans fairly early in the novel), but how the Hailsham students face that scenario, which is unbelievable yet entirely believable within the context of the story. If they change the ending I may give up movies forever.

    I can’t watch the trailer without tearing up.

  • RogerBW

    Certainly the basic plot is made very obvious (I caught on before they mentioned “donations”), and given that it’s Ishiguro the details fill themselves in. Why would I see the film rather than reading the book, other than that it would be over more quickly?

  • Accounting Ninja

    So is this sort of like a muuuuuch better Parts: The Clonus Horror?

    Because that’s what I got from the trailer. Still, intriguing!

  • Mock Tudor

    Why would I see the film rather than reading the book, other than that it would be over more quickly?

    That’s a question about adaptations in general, isn’t it? Why is it be particularly relevant in this specific case? And why would you have to choose either one or the other?

    I think this looks like it’s got a lot of potential.
    It will take career best effort from both Garland and Romanek to deliver on that, though.

  • RogerBW

    While it’s no secret that I’m not impressed by adaptations in general, the impression I get is that most of this story is about people who are stupider than the audience trying to work out what is going on. Since it is blindingly obvious what is going on and how it’s going to end even from this short trailer, what’s left? Either interesting writing or good performances… which is better? I’m certainly not going to plough through this tosh twice!

    (Ishiguro appears to be yet another of those authors who takes an idea that’s been done to death in real science fiction, but because he’s a literary author he has nothing to do with that SF nonsense. Margaret Atwood, who professed to love this book, is the canonical example. People who’ve read SF are generally unimpressed by the old idea and say “OK, what’s your original take on it”…)

  • ebert

    the most annoying actress (Keira Knightley) + the most boring actress(Carey Mulligan) = crap

  • Alli

    the most annoying actress (Keira Knightley) + the most boring actress(Carey Mulligan) = crap

    I wonder who your favorite actress is, then? And don’t say Meryl Streep, because that’s like saying Jesus is your favorite Christian diety; it’s a given.

  • So is this sort of like a muuuuuch better Parts: The Clonus Horror?

    Well, we could call it The Island for highbrows but some people might confuse that with the Michael Caine movie of the same name.

    That said, this doesn’t have to be a bad movie. Writer Robert Silverberg once wrote a short story in which compulsory “donations” were used as a metaphor for the draft system that was in effect during the Vietnam War. The first time I read it, I found it more effective than the usual “Vietnam is evil!” agitprop. (Then again I read it in my early 20s at a time when the chances of me being drafted for a war in Iran or Central America seemed a real possibility. So I wasn’t exactly in a position to be objective.)

    That said, the reminder that compulsory “donations” would come from real people is hardly the worst message a sci-fi movie could send.

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