There are rare times when everything in a movie can work—its direction, performances, etc.—and yet the picture somehow comes up short. This is the problem with trying to judge movies piecemeal. For all of the different aspects that make up a picture, we have to evaluate it as a whole. Obviously, we can call attention to its outstanding aspects, but they have to lead, for better or worse, to some kind of impression. Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones is remarkable in how it does so much right, and yet it leaves the viewer completely cold. Its strengths are undeniable and its flaws are subtle, so subtle that it can be confusing as to how such a technically superb picture can be so ineffective.
Quite the impressive ensemble is being assembled for director Jake Paltrow’s (The Good Night) upcoming futuristic thriller Young Ones. Variety reports that Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) have signed on to star. The story centers on a 14-year-old boy forced to use his wits to survive and “is set in a violent near-future where water has become the most precious—and fastest-dwindling—resource on the planet.” Paltrow wrote the script and will direct, with production already underway in South Africa’s Northern Cape desert.
This isn’t Hoult’s first go at apocalyptic landscapes, as he recently wrapped director George Miller’s sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. He recently scored a hit in his first leading turn with Warm Bodies, and also plays the title character in next month’s Jack the Giant Slayer. After Young Ones, he’ll report to the set for the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since the lead in the film is a 14-year-old, though, one assumes Smit-McPhee is playing the main character.
Straight from the American Film Market, we’ve got the first promo poster for the sci-fi pic Young Ones. The film is director Jake Paltrow’s (yes, the brother of Gwyneth) first since his 2006 feature directorial debut The Good Night. While info on the pic is scarce, the film is said to have Elle Fanning attached to star in a story set in the not too distant future where water is a scarce commodity (per Ion Cinema). The film centers on a cowboy grieving over the death of his father when he finds out that his father’s killer has just moved in with his sister. Greenberg and The Squid and the Whale writer-director Noah Baumbach may or may not be producing the pic, which sounds like an intense character drama highlighted by touches of sci-fi. The promo poster boasts the tagline “Not all children have a childhood” and features a young boy carrying a gun, against a desert-like landscape augmented by what looks to be a large robot/machine. Hit the jump to check it out.