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Breathe In


Stars: Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, Mackenzie Davis, Matthew Daddario, Ben Shenkman, Alexandra Wentworth, Kyle MacLachlan

Director: Drake Doremus

English exchange student Felicity Jones (reunited with director Drake Doremus for whom she made Like Crazy) makes waves when she comes to live with a family in upstate New York and ruffles the lives of former rock star turned music teacher and classical instrumentalist Guy Pearce and his family when she arouses lust in her host…

While the story is hardly innovative, the ensuing drama never feels forced or unbelievable, thanks, in particular, to Pearce whose portrait of a man faced with losing the mojo that made him by considering an affair with a girl the same age as his daughter, is understated but utterly convincing and the potent heart of the film. Jones, too, does well, and there is strong support from Amy Ryan as Pearce’s understandably fraught wife and Mackenzie Davis as his daughter.

Doremus (who scripted by film with Ben York Jones) strikes exactly the right un-melodramatic note, adding to the drama with attractive and well-chosen locations beautifully filmed by cinematographer John Guleserian.

While Jones hits all the right notes (like Dustin O'Halloran’s attractive score) Pearce, bearded and sporting the kind of over-large spectacles that made Britain’s National Health Service unique all those years ago) dominates the proceedings without ever going over the top to do so.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Curzon Films. Colour.
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Jul 2013