A good movie will stay with you, move you. A great movie will do those things and more. That extra something comes from displaying the very true and hauntingly real portrayals of human nature and behaviour. In the past, films such as 'Closer', 'Before Sunrise', last year's Oscar-nominated 'Blue Valentine' and this year's 'Weekend' have all done this. Now comes the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize winner, 'Like Crazy'. This not-to-be-missed indie gem shows the emotional danger that comes from long-distance relationships, and the lives we start to lead past our school years.
When English wannabe writer Anna (Felicity Jones) meets American wannabe furniture designer Jacob (Anton Yelchin) at an LA university, they spend a blissful chair, whiskey and love-filled year together. Upon graduation, Anna's student Visa expires and she must return to the UK. She instead decides to spend the summer with Jacob before a quick trip home. On account of this Visa violation, Anna returns to the U.S. and is flagged by immigration and placed on a 4-year ban. The film follows Anna and Jacob through the years as they are forced to endure and navigate their long-distance relationship while continuing to set up and live their own lives in separate countries.
Based on director Drake Doremus' real-life experiences with his Austrian ex-wife, the filmmaker adopted an improv style as the film had no set script. This spot-on instinct is strengthened by the film's outstanding cast and their amazing chemistry. Jones and Yelchin's intense yet subtle and highly accurate performances showcase that something as strong as love can, at the same time, be so fragile. Along with the Grand Jury prize, Felicity Ward picked up the Sundance Special Jury Prize (Dramatic) for her role as Anna, a part she received only days before shooting began.
Jones and Yelchin's intense yet subtle and highly accurate performances showcase that something as strong as love can, at the same time, be so fragile.
The handheld camera technique allows you to feel deeply involved in these character's lives, while still remaining engrossed and empathetic to this most intimate story. Its sincerity is breathtaking, free of the melodrama of your typical Hollywood film - this production chooses to display the subtle complexities of life, love and relationships.
This isn't just for anyone who's experienced or experiencing a long-distance relationship. This film is for anyone who has the joy of experiencing the ecstasy of new love and the agony of losing or struggling through it. For anyone who has had to fight for the person they want, who has had doubts, fought temptation, wanted someone perhaps too much and everything in between. This film will stay with you long after the credits have rolled, in the best and worst way.