“Most people think of themselves as individuals. That there’s no-one on the planet like them. This thought motivates them to get out of bed, eat food, and walk around like nothing’s wrong. My name is Oliver Tate.”
A self-assured writer/director debut from Richard Ayoade, probably best known to people as Moss in The IT Crowd, Submarine succeeds in being something a little odd and unique, but strangely all-encompassing, capturing a sense of alienation and angst that most teenagers have gone through at one point or another.
I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of a way to describe the movie. “Like Wes Anderson decamped to Wales and decided to make a Judy Blume adaptation” is about as close as I can get, but it doesn’t really do the movie justice. While Richard Ayoade’s work seems to owe something to Anderson stylistically, there’s a warmth and affection to it that’s lacking in Anderson’s sterile environments.
The story concerns it self with Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a teenager growing up in a small town in Wales, (presumably) sometime in the eighties. His dad (Noah Taylor) is a dispassionate, depressive marine biologist direct from presenting on the Open University and his mother (Sally Hawkins) is distracted by the obnoxious New Age mystic Graham (Paddy Considine), who’s moved in next door. Oliver’s not exactly a complete outsider, but not popular either, despite his messianic delusions and attempts to adopt intellectual affectations. In other words, he’s not unique, he’s just your typical teen. And Oliver has a crush on fellow classmate Jordana (Sarah Jane Adventure’s Yasmin Paige), an acerbic, self-professed pyromaniac.
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