How I Live Now

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When a global conflict erupts, Elizabeth (Ronan), a 15 year-old New Yorker, is sent away to live with her cousins in a remote part of the English countryside. There, she and her cousin Edmond (MacKay) face a bitter fight to keep themselves safe and their family together.


Kevin Macdonald's version of Meg Rosoff’s novel is at its best when not concerned with plot. Its take on a future UK is intriguing — not gadgets and gleaming glass structures, but a worn version of the place we know, heavily militarised as it awaits inevitable attack, which when it comes is less than the anticipation. Daisy (Saoirse Ronan), a girl sent to live with relatives in the country, comes to love them, especially the handsome one. The war separates them and she vows to find her way back, but the journey is often a repetitive trek towards the inevitable.

Macdonald's film is a noble stab at bringing Meg Rosoff's YA novel to the screen, which sees Ronan in typically watchable form.