A critical hit in Cannes, Charlotte Wells infuses her exquisite debut with nostalgia and tenderness as she teases out the melancholic undercurrents of a loving father-daughter relationship.
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This evocative 90s-set drama, with an effortlessly cool soundtrack to match, stars Normal People’s Paul Mescal as divorced dad Calum who takes his 11-year-old daughter Sophie (newcomer Francesca Corio) on a holiday to a budget Turkish resort.
“Calum is caring, weird in the way that everyone’s dad is a bit weird, and a goofball who genuinely enjoys spending time with his kid. But there’s a clear sadness to him that Mescal allows to flicker through his face to remind us that no matter how hard Calum is trying, there’s a dark side to him that will soon rear its head…
Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells… weaves together memories, home video and dreams in a singular way. It turns out that an older Sophie is remembering these important – and, it is implied, last – moments with her dad… Wells makes the interplay between these recollections and her piecing together her father’s emotional reality incredibly vivid.
Aftersun flows like a fondly remembered memory that’s been replayed endlessly, as if trying to find an important detail that might explain what happened. The easy pace of her direction brings out the best in her central performers, and the chemistry between Mescal and Corio plays out effortlessly. The light moments between them are warm and the darker ones linger heavily.” — Anna Bogutskaya, Time Out