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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.