Unmade Beds

"Very Good"

Unmade Beds Review


Shot and edited with real skill, this warmly involving film sharply catches the perspective of two young immigrants with very personal journeys. But the script feels too tidy for the loose, relaxed filmmaking style.

Axl (Tielve) is a 20-year-old from Spain in London to find his father (Lintern), who he can't remember at all. Actually, he can't remember much, and after each drunken night out he wakes up in a strange bed. Eventually he finds himself living in a squat with Hannah (Winter) and Mike (Goldberg). Another resident, Vera (Francois), has come to London to forget her ex (Brzezicki) and move on. She meets a charming guy who calls himself X-ray Man (Huisman), but she's reluctant to let him into her life.

As with his first feature Glue, writer-director Dos Santos uses an intimate cheeky-sexy tone while blurring boundaries and expectations. The cinematography vividly puts us into the minds of both Axl and Vera, who don't actually meet until a climactic moment later on. We see events through their eyes, with journal-style narration in native languages, complete with telling flashbacks and wonderfully imaginative filmmaking. A seaside escape with Vera and X-ray Man is gorgeously assembled and played.

The cast is raw and earthy, giving a strong authenticity to the multicultural setting. Tielve and Francois acutely capture the youthful yearning, hopefulness and fear with the camera often right in their faces. They're always believable, simply because the film lets them create organic characters who are honest and complex. Meanwhile, Huisman and Goldberg provide a nice counterpoint as two young men who are just a little more settled and confident, but still open to new experiences.

The tentative connections between these people is utterly riveting, since the scruffy, edgy approach makes it impossible to predict. But about halfway through, the quirky indie song score hints that this film has a more professional pedigree than it first seemed (the musical approach, while fresh and sparky, seems directly lifted from Juno). And after the improv-style build-up, the story elements coalesce in ways that hint at too much script-polishing. But even if the finale's a little too structured and sentimental, it's still an enjoyable and fiercely inventive film.



Unmade Beds

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 2nd September 2009

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: The Bureau, Film4, UK Film Council, EM Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 20 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Alexis Dos Santos

Starring: as Vera, as Axl, as X Ray Man, as Mike, as Anthony Hemmings, as Hannah, Alexis Dos Santos as Alejo, as Lucas, Tim Plester as Bookshop Customer

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.