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Matt's Never Let Me Go Review

Updated on June 9, 2011

An independent film out of Britain, I actually saw the trailer months ago, but had to wait for the DVD to see it. Let me say this right off the bat, it’s a shame that films like this get such limited releases, whereas films with bloated budgets, tons of special effects and no heart or soul to them whatsoever make heaps of money. Awesome performances, a great script and wonderful cinematography make this film a powerhouse.


- While this film is technically science fiction, the sci-fi elements are all very subtle. It’s really more a character study and a love story. So don’t let the genre turn you off.

- The love story in this is fantastic, unfulfilled affection stretching throughout the years, and the characters bound by the circumstances of their lives.

- The subject matter is treated with a certain amount of sophistication and depth that is not usually found in modern-day sci-fi films. There’s real exploration into life, love and the human condition. It was much more profound than I expected.

- I loved the ending!


I can’t stress enough that this film is a performance piece, and the cast rises to all the challenges magnificently.

- The star of the show is definitely Carey Mulligan, and she was fantastic. As a long-time fan of hers, I expected nothing less. She carries the movie beautifully and effortlessly, turning in a very natural performance. It would be easy, in a film like this, to take the theatrics over the top, but Mulligan and the rest of the cast do not fall into that trap.

- Keira Knightley has a great turn as Ruth. She does not stretch the boundaries of her range in this, but her character contrasts with Mulligan’s in wonderful ways, and it’s interesting to see Knightley tackle a character that is so flawed.

- Andrew Garfield impresses me more with each film of his I see. As Tommy, Garfield brings an incredible amount of heart to this film. As the love-triangle is the true center of the story, if he hadn’t been so convincing, the movie wouldn’t have worked.

- Cool familiar face – Harry Potter fans will want to keep an eye out for Domhnall Gleeson (son of Brendan Gleeson), who played Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. He has a little more to do here, he does well.

Music, Cinematography and Special Effects

- The music in Never Let Me Go is almost entirely classical score. The composer’s name is Rachel Portman, whose work I was not familiar with until recently. Portman’s work here is solid, but not exactly a revelation. It’s a well done score with some interesting cues, but it’s not a score I’ll be seeking to own.

- The cinematography is gorgeous, they make great use of a lot of English locations. My personal favorite is a beach with a boat washed up on shore. It’s a great looking film, I recommend a big screen.

- No special effects really.

The Bottom Line

All things considered, I was surprised at how good this was, but I shouldn’t have been. Critical reception and the IMDB rating made it look solid, but not as good as it turned out to be. It was beautifully shot, nicely paced, and wonderfully acted. There was absolutely nothing in this film that wasn’t to my liking. Highly recommended! 9/10


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