Restless (2011)


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Gus Van Sant




Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska, Ryo Kase, Schuyler Fisk, Jane Adams, Chin Han, Lusia Strus


As he is struggling to recover from the death of his parents and spending his time attending funerals, Enoch (Henry Hopper) falls in love with Annabel (Mia Wasikowska), a terminally ill teenage girl.


I'm not into romances, and the whole ill fated relationship isn't my thing either, but there's something about Mia Wasikowska and the indie films she picks that I love. Also Gus Van Sant is the man behind both "Good Will Hunting" and "Milk", two films I loved, and therefore another good reason to give "Restless" a try.

But it just wasn't good as I hoped, and the writer is to be blamed. The story is rather predictable, dull, sappy and heartbreaking as requested by the genre and at times seems unfocused and it feels like the writer wanted to express a concept but wasn't able to develop it completely.

Another problem is the characters. While the Japanese kamikaze pilot/ghost-friend was quite interesting and easily the most sympathetic character, the two main characters aren't as good as they should to carry the film. The dying girl is the most interesting of the two, but unfortunately the film focuses on the boy, the unlikable and uninteresting character.

With such a flawed script, there wasn't much Van Sant could do. Still he managed to handle the themes of death, friendship and love quite well, and through that flawed story, he was able to deliver a film that is able to make you appreciate life and those around you.

Finally there are the actors, the only fully positive note. Mia Wasikowska is charismatic as usual and gives another great performance as Annabel, the dying girl; Henry Hopper does a good job as Enoc, the guy who lost his parents; Ryo Kase also does a good job as Hiroshi, the Japanese ghost.


  1. I remember kind of hating Henry Hopper in this. I'm a fan of Van Sant's films, but this definitely isn't one of his best.

    1. Me too, that's why I was expecting a better movie. But it was just another ill fated romance that doesn't stand out.