by Carsten Knox, published on September 17, 2015|
The Genre Of Apocalypse has no lack of entires. This year alone I’ve seen three or four of them. But I don’t recall the last one that was told from a woman’s perspective, or, more specifically, sisters.
Nell (Ellen Page, still convincing in teen roles at 28) is the younger, Eva (Evan Rachel Wood, who is also 28, incidentally) is the elder, living out in what looks a lot like the British Columbia with their father (Callum Keith Rennie).
Based on the shiny tech it’s the near future, and one night the power goes out, and it isn’t coming back on. What starts as a “let’s ride this out” philosophy changes to a “we’d better hunker down.” Rozema provides a few moments of genuine creepiness in her vision of the world’s end. A shot of a car driving into the tar black woods at night is one of them.
The middle section of the film is Nell and Eva on their own, learning about growing things from books, trying to make adult decisions about their resources and clinging together to hope and sanity in the eternal now. As a pair of leads very much carrying the thing—with an appearance from the sympathetic Max Minghella—Page and Wood are completely capable. You might never have imagined them as siblings before, but their cut glass cheekbones and steady gazes feel entirely sisterly. (And, in flashback, Wendy Crewson could totally be their mom. Terrific casting all around.)
Though the seasons are oddly unchanging and there’s a little head-scratching logic in the last reel, the film provides a compellingly fresh addition to a growing End Of Days cinematic subgroup.
Local trivia note: Page, who also serves as producer here, discovered the novel this film is based on thanks to a recommendation from someone at P’lovers.