Friday, February 06, 2009

MOUTH TO MOUTH - beware hippies

Writer-director Alison Murray's debut feature is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film starring Ellen Page as a rebellious yank living in Europe. Her character drops out of school and takes up with a bunch of hippies who naturally travel in camper vans, do drugs, fuck and diss The Man. As in all movies of this ilk, most notably THE BEACH, it turns out that underneath the vegetarian Acapulco shirt of the gang leader (Eric Thal) lies the beating heart of a psychopath complete with emotional manipulation, humiliation and general nastiness. Not least in seducing Page's character's mum when she comes to rescue her.

The movie looks great - all vibrant Super 16 - and the soundtrack is great. Ellen Page gives the kind of charismatic performance that we've seen come to expect. But when the movie turns from psychological drama to soap opera - mother and daughter fighting over the same guy - it loses its path.

MOUTH TO MOUTH played Toronto 2005 and opened in the UK last year on the back of Ellen Page's success in JUNO. It is available on DVD.

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