Sunday, 7 September 2014

If I Stay - review

Like the EMTs that were attending to Mia Hall and her family following the crash that puts the events of If I Stay in motion, I didn't hold out much hope for this film based on yet another Young Adult novel.

Cut to 107 minutes later and I found myself surprisingly moved by this tale of a young girl dreaming of becoming a cello player at Juillard who experiences an out-of-body experience whilst in a coma and reflects on her life and relationships with her family and rocker boyfriend to decide whether or not to stay alive.

I know the exact moment any resistance to what could have been an incredibly mawkish and overly sentimental film faded away, and it was when Stacy Keach delivered a moving and emotional speech to Chloe Moretz's Mia by her bedside telling her it was ok to let go.

From that point on, I was completely on board with the story and furthered by strong performances from Moretz, Mirielle Enos and Joshua Leonard as her rocker parents and Jamie Blackley as her boyfriend Adam.

There is the odd minor bum note (like when Moretz's head is rather obviously CGI-d onto the body of someone else playing the cello) but otherwise this is worth staying to the end for.

3 stars

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