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My Summer of Love 

Pawel Pawlikowski

My Summer of Love
Directed by: Pawel Pawlikowski
Focus Features
A fine addition to that exclusive genre of coming-of-age movies that intersect with the love-that-daren’t- speak-its-name. Mona (Natalie Press, in her debut) is a Yorkshire teenager with a born-again, ex-con brother (Paddy Considine) who lives above a pub. She meets Tamsin (Emily Blunt), a local posh girl suspended from boarding school, an entitled ingenue with time on her hands. Based on a novel by Helen Cross, the narrative is meandering, but the performances are wonderful and spontaneous, and the cinematography captures the sun-dappled, eternal summer afternoon. A touch of Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures is plain in the inclusive, fantastic world the girls share, but director Pawlikowski makes it seem fresh, his camera lingering on the edges of their environment. His commentary is totally compelling and brings much to a broader appreciation of his work: a lovely, passionate film about that delicious cusp of innocence and experience, and a damn shame it didn’t get shown here in cinemas.
—Carsten Knox

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Vol 25, No 32
January 11, 2018

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