Restless

Filmmaker Gus Van Sant, even at 59 years old, looks like the sort of guy who should be wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a hoodie. In face, body language and spirit, he retains a certain boyishness — perhaps in some small way infused, throughout the years, by his thematic preoccupation with unconventional romance and coming-of-age stories, and the idea of surrogate family. Restless, his latest effort behind the camera, and the first since Sean Penn scored a Best Actor Oscar for Milk, treads this same familiar ground, but to mostly pleasurable if still rather fleeting effect. A tenderly stylistic evocation of young love wrapped inside a New Wave-esque bundle of wistfulness and nervous, under-the-surface energy, it's a movie whose graceful direction doesn't merely trump its plotting, but instead helps elevate it. A kind of arthouse mash-up of Sweet November, One Day and Love and Other Drugs, Restless is a well constructed little diorama, but one whose elicited feelings do not, alas, linger. For the full, original review, from ShockYa, click here. (Sony Pictures Classics/Imagine Entertainment, PG-13, 95 minutes)

 

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