Director Richard Ayoade did a PHENOMENAL job translating this from the page to the screen. The protagonist is a neurotic Welsh boy Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) who’s never had a girlfriend before, but longs for classmate Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige). It’s both a coming of age tale that acknowledges its whimsical triviality, and a deeply honest portrait of all relationships in the throes of their collective newness.
Oliver’s parents, played by Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins and the Australian actor Noah Taylor, collectively, knock their storyline out of the park. Taylor’s deadpan is the most horrifyingly hilarious around, and Hawkins delivers another triumphant performance, just one in a string of exquisite roles for the British powerhouse (among them Happy-Go-Lucky, Made in Dagenham, and this summer’s stellar Jane Eyre).
It’s an important movie based off of an important book. It both acknowledges its thematic predecessors (Garden State, Rushmore, and a bevy of Woody Allen films) and steers the genre in a new and thrilling, albeit somewhat self conscious, direction.
Submarine is a movie that celebrates the joys and torments of youth and love. It is one of the year’s best, and will assuredly be a strong contender in all of the major film awards, for good reason.