“Some thought should be put into the matter of what to wear.” This snippet of dialogue is basically a mission statement for Stuart Murdoch’s impeccably styled indie. Indeed, the Belle and Sebastian frontman’s directing debut is so preoccupied with aesthetic details that it’s difficult to take the characters seriously as people—they’re more like the hazy ciphers that populate poetry or lyrics.
Olly Alexander charms as bespectacled singer-songwriter James, while Emily Browning is ethereally beautiful as Eve, a would-be musician recovering from anorexia (some may have qualms about the film’s prettification of her disease). This pair is the stuff dreams are made of, their lives made complete with a song or two.
The plot is slight: Once James and Eve move in together, a veritable Twee Pride Parade ensues, as Browning twirls, fairy-like, through artfully eclectic Glaswegian locations. On a kayaking trip, they encounter the most polite hooligans you’ve ever met, providing some actual Scottish accents. The whole phantasmagorical enterprise is so sweetly confident that it just about gets away with its entirely casual approach to believability.
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