English German
Quick Links
Info

The opinions, comments and viewpoints expressed in articles are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the webmaster.

All press articles are still under copyright from the original source and provided for entertainment purposes and research only. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


» Under the Radar Magazine Review - Mouth to Mouth

by Chris Tinkham, published on June 1, 2006

Young Canadian actress Ellen Page seems to be everywhere as of late. She shocked audiences as a red-hooded teen vigilante in the April release Hard Candy, and last week she surfaced as mutant Kitty Pryde in X-Men: The Last Stand. In Mouth to Mouth, shot before both those films, Page plays Sherry, a teenage runaway who gets recruited by SPARK—Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge—a fictional communal organization that roves the streets of Europe in buses, seeking to resuscitate the lives of people living on the margins.

Eric Thai plays SPARK's persuasive ringleader, Harry, who preaches the value of “intellectual defense” and promises his impressionable flock a sufficient and governed life apart from the 9-to-5 capitalistic drudgery. Armed with a large supply of methadone, Harry advocates clean living and empowerment, but just as well could be building a cult to keep under his thumb. His demagoguery, which comes off as a cross between that of Tyler Durden in Fight Club and Survivor’s Richard Hatch, nonetheless makes an impression on Sherry, who believes she has discovered something important and perhaps revolutionary in SPARK. When Sherry’s mother Laurie (Natasha Wightman) finds her after a long night of handing out “missing” flyers at a rave, Sherry initially is content to leave the group behind and return home. But tensions between Sherry and her mother quickly reach a familiar boiling point, and Sherry runs out of her mom’s car to hitch a ride with a stranger. By the time Sherry returns to SPARK, Laurie has discovered the group and already has been indoctrinated, turning Sherry's perception of radicalism topsy-turvy.

Mouth to Mouth is a strange enough film to remain absorbing almost all the way through. Director Alison Murray, who left her home when she was 15 years old, has a background in choreography, short film and music video—this is her first feature—and she interjects choreographed sequences into her film with the abandon of Godard or Hal Hartley. The liveliest sequence is a rough-and-tumble pas de deux between Page and Wightman on the side of the road, with the camera panning side to side in long shot. The cast of SPARK members—which includes, among others, a kid and some gray-haired folks—is a visually intriguing group with desolate looks about them, and the uncommon European locations, particularly a vineyard setting in Portugal, help sustain an air of unpredictability.

In the areas of traditional filmmaking, however, Mouth to Mouth occasionally leaves much to be desired. There aremoments when the dialogue and acting are stilted, particularly in the scenes between Page and Wightman (surprising, considering the ballyhoo given Page recently). Thai makes Harry convincing enough to captivate a teen looking for acceptance, but there’s no early chemistry between him and Page, nor with Wightman, whose character is never fleshed out yet remains on screen mostly as a catalyst for Sherry. Some of the music choices—The Birthday Party, Azure Ray—are welcome, but in one late, dramatic scene, the score is dreadfully overbearing.

Shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm, Mouth to Mouth has that overused look of color saturation fused with overexposure, but some lovely, sun-drenched morning and late-afternoon shots sneak through to add earthiness to the edginess. And even though Page is hit-and-miss in the film, the camera likes her, lip pierced, head shaved or otherwise. The most striking aspect of her performance is her physicality, how she lumbers around in an oversized tee shirt and baggy shorts, likely to Murray’s instruction.

Executive produced by Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan, Mouth to Mouth is, despite its rough edges, adventurous in spirit and concept, but eventually the film’s narrative arc buckles under the weight of inevitability.

Author rating: 5/10

Source: www.undertheradarmag.com

Printerfriendly version · Read 2655 times

Last Update: 10/01/2019 Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram  Tumblr  Privacy Policy GDPR  HiStats  Facebook Group Ellen Page Fans © 2006-2019 TeamEPO
news ellenpage career media interact site web fancorner profile biography quotes factsandtrivia faqs filmography demoreel awards charity otherprojects gallery videoclips audioclips messageboard fanarts fanlisting guestbook links listedat affiliates aboutepo changelog contact epofaqs legalnotice