Dir: John Cameron Mitchell | Cast: Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp | 100min | US | Musical RomCom
John Cameron Mitchell’s absurdly unconvincing ‘punk-retro’ musical is based on a short story by Neil Gaiman. It imagines a late ’70s London where aliens in psychedelic costumes infiltrate a corner of Croydon and create havoc by seducing kids at a local disco, where they vomit in their mouths. Elle Fanning is one of the aliens. How she got suckered into the project God only knows, but she tries her best and falls for the other only good about the film – the male lead gamely played by Alex Sharp. Sandy Powell’s costumes are worth a mention too.
Sadly these aliens are ‘programmed to self-destruct’ so the charmingly honest love story at the heart of this charade sadly ends in tears. Clearly the director knows nothing about punk or late ’70s London so the whole thing feels like amateur dramatics staged by teenage filmmakers wandering onto the set of Some Mothers do ‘Ave ‘Em – with a good deal of angry swearing thrown in for good measure. One to miss. MT
CANNES FILM FEDTIVAL | 17-28 MAY 2017 | SPECIAL SCREENING