14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2012
' Unrelated' is an extraordinary, unusual film that lives with you long after it ends. There is no background music, there is a mix of professional actors & [ may I say it? ] real people. The performers live & eat together in the Tuscan villa in which it is filmed . They sleep in the bedrooms that are theirs in the film. The unrelated outsider, playing Anna, arrives after the other performers have bonded. The result is a sort of collective method acting. It is convincing & powerful. It makes ordinary films look acted.
The camera is still; you feel as if you are there with them. It is really happening.
The central performance of Anna would win an award in a better known movie ; she is luminous, outstanding.The hotel scene where you discover Anna's sadness is perfect, brilliant.
The most interesting character is young Oakley, who is generally condemned by most who see the film, yet is the only one to take notice of the ' unrelated' Anna & to listen to her.
It was the film debut of Tom Hiddleston, who worked easily , brilliantly , intelligently in this collective setting . Oakley could have a whole book written on his fascinating character ; he should be seen again. There is a furious,disturbing off scene row between Oakley & his ghastly father that truly shocks.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2011
Having quite, but not thoroughly, enjoyed "Archipelago" (and encouraged by excellent reviews), I watched Joanna Hogg's previous film with favourable anticipation...but I was disappointed. The basic plot of an 'outsider' rather foolishly trying to take a holiday with a rather unwelcoming group is interesting, and the moment when she asks them to quieten down their late night enjoyment so that she can get to sleep perfectly underlines the clear separation that exists between her and the younger group of holiday-makers.
Both my hearing and sight are excellent, and although I appreciate the subtle use of both background and natural conversation etc., I found the general sound level to be sometimes conspicuously unbalanced and the script, whether it was written or improvised, was unmemorable and, even allowing for my preference for the subtle over the obvious, gave the main actors some difficulty in establishing their characters...and the filming of the initial scene of arrival was poor rather than atmospheric.
One reviewer has remarked on the rather obvious influence of Eric Rohmer on Joanna Hogg's work, and I would agree. I both admire and appreciate Joanna Hogg's efforts, but I feel that although much of the early work of Eric Rohmer is, and will be, remembered as landmarks in the history of the cinema, I suspect that neither "Unrelated" nor "Archipelago" will be similarly remembered.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2014
Absolutely loved this movie. Joanna Hogg's past as a photographer totally shines through - the film is beautiful to look at and has a slightly dreamlike quality. All the cast are excellent, especially a young Tom Hiddleston as the dangerously charming Oakley. Loved the extras, too, the interview with her was really interesting. I'd definitely recommend it.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2009
This is a film that will make you think, make you cringe and make you want to go to Tuscany. It is one that you certainly won't forget quickly. It deals with the character of Anna who goes to stay with old friends in their Tuscan villa, arriving alone in the middle of the night and, significantly, unmet by her hosts leaving her to find her way to the villa in the dark on a dusty side road which is the opening scene of the film. This image of Anna dragging her suitcase along on her own gives us a key to her character in the film. She is with her friends but she does not belong to their world and although she tries to join them in all kinds of ways, some that may make you wince, she is ultimately rejected. The actors create an intense world of suppressed emotions and many things are left unsaid but can be observed clearly. The landscape of Tuscany shimmers in the heat but it is filled with menace and potential dangers. The director, Joanna Hogg, has created a very memorable film and I look forward to her next work.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2009
This is a very edgy, thought provoking film. Having watched the film in spellbound, if uneasy, silence, I was inspired to watch the director's commentary which contributed yet further to my appreciation of this low-budget masterpiece. It is a beautifully acted, wonderfully understated drama which I would highly recommend. The main character, a 30 something childless woman, is painfully sympathetic and her relationship with the arrogant but charming son of her best friend offers great potential for dramatic tension. I can't wait to see what the director, Joanna Hogg, comes up with next.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2013
English screenwriter and director Joanna Hogg`s feature film debut which she wrote, premiered at the 51st London Film Festival in 2007, was shot on location in Monteroni d`Arbia and Siena in Italy and is a United Kingdom production which was produced by producer Barbara Stone. It tells the story about a woman named Anna who goes to a holiday resort in Italy. Some of her old friends are staying there with their children and after Anna has gotten settled, her friend named Brianna begins noticing that something is going on with Anna.
Distinctly and precisely directed by English filmmaker Joanna Hogg, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character`s point of view, draws a perceptive portrayal of a woman`s relationship with her friends and a young man named Oakley. While notable for its naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, reverent cinematography by cinematographer Oliver Curtis, production design by production designer Stéphane Collonge, fine editing by Danish film editor Helle Le Fevre and use of sound, colors and light, this character-driven and dialog-driven story depicts an incisively internal and heartrending study of character.
This inventive, atypical and at times humorous drama from the late 2000s which examines themes like generational differences, interpersonal relations and belongingness, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, silent moments, natural dialog, interesting characters, underlying emotional substance, distinct aura and the authentic acting performances by actress Kathryn Worth, English actor Tom Hiddleston in his debut feature film role and Zimbabwean-English actress and director Mary Roscoe. A tangible, contemplative, efficiently understated and acutely framed character piece which reminiscences some of the great masters of cinema.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2014
What a good film this is ,but beware it could be a bit of a "marmite" film in as much as some people are going to hate it .Set in Italy it brought back many memories for me ,and if you have been to Tuscany it is surprisingly industrial and even urban in places, and this is caught very well in the superb filming. Give it a go
on 28 June 2014
This observed character study is a realistic coming-of-(middle)age story set in the escapist world of an English family holiday in beautiful Tuscany. This is Anna's coming-of-acceptance story colliding with a group of 20-somethings' coming-of-age antics. And the Tuscan setting with loads of natural light made the film easy on the eye. The most notable thing about this film is the generous helpings of overlapping dialogue - Overall, I found this refreshing, not being able to tell what was scripted and what wasn't, lending the film a conversational fly-on-the-wall feel. But at times I wished I could just catch the full sentence - even if I knew it didn't really matter!
If you enjoy following subtle social dynamics between multiple characters, the push and the pull, then there's plenty here to observe. The many bare skinned opportunities to touch, the underwear buying... even the frequent takes of Anna's downturned eyes profess to her likely deep sadness. However, if you like your characters to be strongly developed particularly by having them say and do obvious things, then you will probably find the main character's lack of dialogue for most of the film irritating. For me, not knowing where the story would go next with the main characters (will they, won't they?) was gripping enough. However, it's rare for me to think that they could have edited the odd (brief) scene out, but really where nothing was going on, one is left hanging there.
The strongest aspect of the film for me was the development of the central story, the theme of inter-generational dynamics and being the outsider. Unlike many independent films, I thought this had a satisfying ending too. The weakest part was the audio quality particularly near the start (but bear with it...) and the fact that Anna for almost all the film barely spoke two words to her dearest childhood friend which was not only irritating, but seemed a tad unrealistic even given her situation. Overall, I think this is the kind of slow-burning film that polarises people, and for me the story was refreshing enough and characters just about interesting enough for me to follow it through.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2014
It was a wonderful movie that I truly enjoyed watching. One of the things I liked the most is the music is intradiegetic. It is played and/or listened to by the characters. And this is a nice change from more mainstream movies.
Tom Hiddleston, fresh out of RADA when the movie was shot, shines as Oackley, the eldest of the teenage characters.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2010
The character relationships present here are very unusual for a film but really refreshing and among the open sea of polished off blockbusters, this is hugely creative. It's good to know that there are directors like Hogg who make films from the heart and not for mass appeal/financial return.
Her interview on the DVD is very generous in both length and content. The interview is all the more engaging because it is from the perspective of a real person telling you of their industry experiences rather than just egotistically focusing on budgets and the film (which we've just seen).
You'd be challenged to find that this sort of story has been acted out before. You may have seen awkwardness in cinema, but this concentrates on a particularly natural kind of human relationship awkwardness that is seldom confronted by us verbally in real life. I can relate to the director a lot by this choice of scrutiny.
The images are very slow moving and relaxed to go with the beauty theme of Tuscany. I so wanna go there now! The pace of the film is slow but it needs to be and is just the right length to get a full grasp of the idea being portrayed. There isn't much music, but again the lack of it and the bits you do hear are obviously designed to underpin the direction of tone. I personally found the ending of the film (phone call) to be very very cheeky and humorous because of that.
The sound is not as bad as some are saying here, but the music-ambience-dialogue track mixing does not sound professionally done, in fact it doesn't sound like it was mixed at all, but you can get through the film fine albeit with sporadic volume control.
The artwork on the box and title menu screen are aesthetically pleasing and suitably selected from the film but this could have been a much better product to own and watch again if it was shot with a better camera. Some shots are pixelated.. a bit youtubey - sorry. Like the sound though, it luckily doesn't deter you too much away from essentially what is an intelligent thought-provoking, independent film.