Director Mark Romanek has created some of the most iconic imagery of the past 15 years in the world of music videos. From Madonna’s “Bedtime Stories” to Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream” to Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” and Fiona Apple’s controversial “Criminal,” Romanek has displayed an eye and sophistication almost unrivaled among his peers. While many of his counterparts were able to easily segue into movie careers (some successfully, some not), his road has been much more difficult.
Romanek’s only feature release so far was the Robin Williams thriller “One Hour Photo” eight years ago. While the film received mixed reviews when it debuted, its grown in stature since and almost has something of a cult following. Now, he’s back with the intriguing romantic drama “Never Let Me Go.”
Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”), “Let Me Go” centers on three young adults who have been created (ie, cloned) just for the sole purpose of becoming organ donors. The films new preview does little to emphasize the Sci-Fi aspects of the story (although arguably neither did Ishiguro’s book), but instead focuses on the potential tragedy between three friends: Tommy (the incredibly talented Andrew Garfield), Ruth (Keira Knightley) and Kathy (“An Education’s” Carey Mulligan.
One of a slew of second half of the year releases for Fox Searchlight, the trailer in intriguing in two aspects. First, Romanek seems to have really reigned in his visual style for the project and second, how influenced it seems by Alfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men” in the inevitability of an “end” for all (or at least its main characters). Positioned smartly as an awards season contender, all the actors appear impressive, but it’s exciting to see Garfield finally get the showcase he deserves. The Brit was stellar in the TV movie, but US theatrical release “Boy A,” but had little to do in last year’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.”
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“Never Let Me Go” opens nationwide on Oct. 1.