Teen drama spotlights two talented newcomers
Filmed during last year’s uncharacteristically hot summer in the Yorkshire Dales, Pawel Pawlikowski’s lyrical movie basks in a honey-coloured glow that evokes Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides. And the similarities with Coppola’s film run deeper than the lighting? both deal with teenaged girls on the bewildering cusp of maturity, all inchoate sexual urges and revealing tops. Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt are the impressive newcomers who take the two central roles?Mona, a bright working-class girl and Tamsin, a disgraced boarding-school student. Their tentative friendship soon takes on a greater significance ?they become lovers and, as far as Mona is concerned, soulmates. But Tamsin is more in love with the thrill of conquest. And there’s the added complication of Mona’s born-again-Christian brother (Paddy Considine), another challenge for the manipulative and flirtatious Tamsin. This heartfelt, humorous paean to the agony of the teen crush is one of the best British films of the year.