Director: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska, Ryo Kase
Duration: 91 min.
The story of a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot.
Restless is a film by director Gus Van Sant and written by Jason Lew. It premiered as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
It follows two teenagers, Enoch (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis) and Annabel (Mia Wasikowska). He has a habit of crashing stranger's funerals and is haunted by the spirit of a WWII kamikaze fighter pilot, and she is a cancer patient with a pixie cut and peculiar fashion sense he meets at one of them. Naturally, they fire up a relationship, and then things play out almost exactly by the quirky indie teen romance numbers from there.
Not that this is a poorly made or unenjoyable film, there are some sweet moments to be found, I enjoyed the character of Hiroshi (Ryo Kase) as gimmicky as he may be, and rising star Mia Wasikowska is outright impressive as always. As well, I do love the laid back natural west-coast atmosphere of films set in Portland. However, it's all so very predictable from start to finish, and in borrowing it's main ideas and style from so many other films of this type, Van Sant fails to make Restless stand out on its own.
I suppose if this were made by a different unknown director, I might see it in a different light, but it's far short of the potential of someone as accomplished as Gus Van Sant.
— Bonjour Tristesse