BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Submarine (Adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s 2006 debut novel)

The debut feature from Richard Ayoade is an affecting coming of age comedy that feels genuinely original, made by someone who's clearly in love with cinema.

Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) is a 15-year-old Swansea schoolboy with problems. A pathetic, but calculated, attempt at bullying earns him the affection of his desirable eczematous classmate Jordana (Yasmin Paige), who introduces Oliver to the thrills of pyromania and dictates to him what he should be writing about her in his diary. Oliver is troubled by the state of his parents' marriage, noting that the dimmer switch hasn't been lowered in their bedroom for some time. His father Lloyd (Noah Taylor) does an academic job nobody understands or appreciates, while appearing to be always teetering on the verge of breakdown, and Oliver suspects mother Jill (Sally Hawkins) to be having an affair with her old flame, the mullet-haired new-age evangelist Graham (Paddy Considine). Oliver hardens his resolve to keep his parents together, and to lose his virginity to Jordana. Adapted from the novel by Joe Dunthorne, the debut feature from The IT Crowd actor Richard Ayoade is both a delight and a revelation, an affecting coming-of-age comedy that feels genuinely original, made by someone who's clearly in love with cinema and its possibilities.

Ayoade retains a very literary feel, structuring the story around a prologue, epilogue and three parts as well as making extensive use of voice-over narration to capture the sensibility of 15 year-old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts).

Sub marine Trailer from Soma Chea on Vimeo.

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