by Derek Malcolm, Evening Standard, May 8, 2008|
Ellen Page made this film before Juno made her a star. She is again excellent, this time as Sherry, an American teenager who loses more than her virginity in a camper-van trip across Europe with a hippy commune called Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge (Spark).
Mouth to Mouths chief distinction lies not in Pages performance, good as it is, but in the almost choreographed direction from Alison Murray, who is best-known for her award-winning short films. It often seems like a work from the Seventies as the gangs leader (Eric Thal) somehow gets the group to the disused vineyard in Portugal where his paradise awaits.
But it isnt paradise at all, since he requires absolute obedience, with punishment meted out to the recalcitrant. Even Sherrys mother arrives to be taken in by the proceedings and only Mad Ax (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos) is prepared to revolt. He falls for Sherry and may be the saving of her.
It looks at times as if it might become a full-length ballet under Murrays baton but it still manages to provide enough realist drama to show how you can make a first feature cheaply but with atmosphere and feeling.