This weekend, run around with a teen sleuth or slow down with the memory of a father and daughter’s vacation.
Charlotte Wells’s devastating and artfully crafted feature debut, Aftersun, shares much in common with Sophia Coppola’s 2010 drama Somewhere. While the latter encompasses themes about the nature of celebrity, both titles are father-daughter tales that sneak up on you with their incredibly patient and complexly drawn meditations. Admittedly, neither one moves at full tilt or features the most compelling narratives from a surface-level look. Instead, their seduction lies in what can be picked up in the silences and how the characters view each other and take in life in each other’s company.
The A24-released film, starring Normal People’s Paul Mescal and dynamite newcomer Frankie Corio, centers on a father adrift on vacation alongside his preteen daughter in Turkey in the late 1990s.
Aftersun is about memory and flows like it. It bounces from one moment to the next without many clean breaks, using imagery that crashes into each other, much like a person trying to remember the sequence of events within a memory. Sometimes, you don’t recall all the biggest moments but the smaller ones — playing video games with that kid you never saw again, seeing your dad trying to hide a cry, or all the moments of boredom while on a family trip.
Some viewers may even feel bored by this film's lack of activity. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check my watch and wonder when the momentum would pick up. However, the film acts as a slow-moving bullet that sneaks up on you in its final minutes. You see the complete experience from the daughter’s perspective as an 11-year-old and as a woman in her thirties. This is where the memory theme really kicks in and sends you down a rabbit hole, digging into your own experiences. It’s like watching a treasured movie from your childhood as a kid and then watching it later in life when you’re a parent yourself. You identify with entirely new areas.
Aftersun may not be the movie you expect, but it’s worthwhile.
The charming, young detective is back and spunky and quick-witted as ever! Enola Holmes 2 is another delightfully engaging mystery with a grand sense of adventure, a chin-stroking historical touch and many jokes to tickle families across multiple viewings.
This new Netflix whodunnit sees Enola Holmes (a very good Millie Bobby Brown) trying to launch her own detective agency. Her first official case puts her on a search to find a missing woman. But things are looking more intense than just that and may require assistance from Enola’s friends and family – including her famous brother, Sherlock (an always terrific Henry Cavill).
This sequel isn’t quite as creative or exciting as its predecessor, feeling the need to dip too much into Enola’s childhood rather than giving her adult adventures the room to dance from start to finish. But it remains a well-made and well-acted chase around London with plenty of twists and turns to satisfy mystery lovers.
There are returning characters (Louis Partridge, Helena Bonham Carter, Susan Wokoma and Adeel Akhtar) and great, new additions (David Thewlis, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Hannah Dodd and one more that shall remain nameless). The production design and costumes are simply gorgeous and continue to be a shining aspect of this immersive world.
Enola Holmes 2 is just wholesome family fun with endearing messages to take to heart.