Director: Drake Doremus.
Starring: Guy Pearce; Felicity Jones; Amy Ryan; Mackenzie Davis.
Plot: When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family’s relationships and alters their lives forever.
Breathe In (2013) is the second time that writer-director Drake Doremus and young British lead actress Felicity Jones have collaborated to make a film. And, with the original piece Like Crazybeing a film I was particularly fond of, Breathe Inhad all the potential in the world to be one of the better movies I’ve had the chance of reviewing since becoming a part of this blog.
Unfortunately, for me, it wasn’t. But, that’s not to say that it wasn’t good.
Breathe In presented many of the same qualities that Like Crazy did, most notably in its storytelling of what I’d personally consider ‘real love’, or ‘real lust’ – either way it’d be ‘real life’. This ensured that this film, like the previous one, moved slowly through the development of the characters’ lives and interpersonal relationships, bringing about a level of investment and believability as a natural response while viewing the piece. This story technique and the way it was handled on-screen by John Guleserian – the cinematographer – made for a quietly powerful tale of love and passion that perfectly highlighted the talents of its lead actors, not least Guy Pearce who was verygood.
The major problem with this picture, in my opinion, is that it’s a film that by its very nature focuses on two vastly different age groups and thus has to present itself as a viable viewing option to both – those being late teens and the middle aged. Unfortunately, this left a lot of the film feeling disjointed, leading me to question whether the picture would’ve been better off coming at the story from one perspective rather than another. With these issues pulling at the picture from either side there just didn’t seem to be room for the very means in which the central characters become close, the music. There was teen drama, family drama, coming of age and middle-aged crisis thrown in with a musical metaphor that worked to add beauty to the piece but mostly stuffed it with a little too much for 98 minutes worth.
Is this a good movie? Yes. But nothing more than that. Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce are great, with Mackenzie Davis offering a lot from a role with relatively little to offer. It’s beautifully shot and definitely something you should consider watching if you really want to sit and focus on anindy drama.