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The Crack Magazine

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Aftersun

Director: Charlotte Wells

Stars: Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio, Celia Rowlson-Hall

This low-key and affecting father-daughter drama marks an impressive feature debut for Scottish writer-director Charlotte Wells. Precocious twelve-year-old Sophie (Corio, a real find) is on holiday with her dad Callum (Mescal). Sophie’s parents are separated and she lives with her mother, so Callum is determined to give his daughter as good a holiday as possible. Their plans hit an early snag when they are given a double bed rather than the twin beds they ordered. Callum also has an unexplained broken arm, an early hint that he is at a troubled and uncertain point in his life. Wells’ gradual accumulation of character via glances, gestures and small intimate moments, as father and daughter quarrel and laugh, adds up to an affecting experience. Footage shot through Sophie’s camera on the holiday imbues the picture with a dreamy atmosphere while a framing device adds another layer of melancholy. It’s a picture that demands attention but will reward the viewer.

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