Starring Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor, and Sally Hawkins
Directed by Richard Ayoade, based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Film review by Rachel Geiger
This is one of the better coming-of-age movies I’ve seen because of how realistic the events are. Submarine is a film that has many awkward teenagers who find themselves in various awkward situations. Many films have attempted this storyline but none of them have conquered it like Submarine.
The story centers around fifteen year old Oliver (Roberts) who wants to accomplish two things: winning Jordana (Paige) and saving his parents marriage. He manages to accomplish the first and finds himself in a whirlwind of a relationship with the unpredictable Jordana. However, his opinions begin to change when he discovers one of her family secrets. Meanwhile, Oliver is suspicious of the intentions of his mom’s (Hawkins) ex boyfriends intentions when he lands back in her life.
To be honest, the story itself sounds relatively boring on paper. Nothing tremendously dramatic really happens, but that’s also where the beauty of it comes in. Teenagers often have pretty boring day to day lives and I like how this is portrayed. I also found myself fascinated by some of Oliver’s voice-overs, he has a messed up and morbid brain, but I also think he’s a clever teen and I enjoyed his story.
Craig Roberts was seriously great as Oliver. I couldn’t picture anyone else playing this role the way that he did. He fit the bill perfectly due to how angsty he seemed. One big thing I love about British films are that the actors and actresses who play the parts actually look young and they aren’t overly glamorous in the way that most American teens in the acting business are. I was also impressed by Yasmin Paige’s performance as Jordana. Her character is the type of girl unafraid to take risks in her life, but I also like the vulnerable side that was explored with the character. I think Paige really played the sadness Jordana feels with such natural and raw talent. It was a beautiful performance to watch.
The directing from first time director Richard Ayoade was clever and realistic just like the story itself. He gets the message across about teenagers who are simply living life and trying to figure out who they are. It’s a concept found in hundreds and hundreds of movies, but his delicate understanding comes across even stronger than the others previously have. I also liked his decision to have Oliver do the narration, as I previously said, because it gives us more of an insight inside of his mind.
This is just a really well done film about growing up and the challenges that we sometimes have to go through. I felt like it was a wonderfully clever film that never tried too hard, it seemed natural from beginning to end. While none of the actors were familiar to me, I still felt like they did an incredible job in their respective roles. Another big positive about the movie is that Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys sang all of the songs featured on the movie soundtrack by himself. These songs playing in the background ultimately set the mood for this fantastic tale. I can promise that this is a movie that you’ll be thinking about for a long time after you watch it for the first time!