- Director:Richard Ayoade
- Cast:Paddy Considine , Craig Roberts , Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor
- Release Date:September 08, 2011
- Running time:97 minutes
- Film Worth:$17.50
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Mining similar narrative and stylistic territory to Wes Anderson, this weird and wonderful comedy drama still feels brilliantly unique.
Shamelessly derivative but kind of brilliant, Submarine is a wonderfully weird comedy drama of adolescent discovery and angst. Wes Anderson (and others) has already covered similar territory, but director Richard Ayoade skillfully and affectionately makes it fresh with a bundle of clever directorial touches.
There are full-screen title cards, jump-cuts, and non-linear edits that seem to riff on Jean Luc-Godard. There's a reoccurring beach motif that invokes François Truffaut's The 400 Blows. And there's the non-specific period details of cassette tapes, hand-written notes and Polaroid cameras - it's probably the early eighties, but is stylistically closer to the French New Wave heyday of the sixties. Fortunately, there's also a dollop of Ayoade's own deadpan humour, which will be familiar to anyone who's seen him in the UK sitcom, The IT Crowd, and especially the under-appreciated mad genius of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (which he co-created and directed).
Much of Ayoade's dry wit is evident in the character of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts, brilliant and droll), a fifteen-year old, Welsh-coast school boy with a crush on the feisty Jordana (Yasmin Paige). He's a selfish control freak, and narrates the film as if he himself were directing it. Jordana is no less iconoclastic; she sports an Anna Karina-bob and likes to hang out at grimy industrial estates, lest she feel anything remotely sentimental or romantic. Oliver is especially loveable in his enterprising-teenager kind of way, even when he's recklessly trying to save his parents' fizzling marriage. His dad (Noah Taylor) is a depressed fish expert, while mum (Sally Hawkins) is tempted by a crackpot ex-lover, a mullet-clad hippie who owns a gaudy van advertising his status as a new-age guru. Hawkins and Taylor are just beautiful, neurotic and sad in the best way, and they supply much of the film's considerable warmth and wry humour.