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I Want You Review

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Small town hairdresser Helen (Weisz) befriends a young mute boy, Honda (Petrusic), who is something of a voyeur. When Helen's ex (Nivola) returns to town after a stint in prison - for murdering her father - things get tense...

★★★★★

Those familiar with Winterbottom's earlier work such as Welcome To Sarajevo and Jude will be unsurprised to learn that his latest offering is a dark, difficult and, frankly, depressing tale. However, it is also possessed of an eerie, atmospheric quality which makes it curiously compelling.

Weisz is Helen, a hairdresser in a small seaside town, with more than her fair share of admirers, most notably Honda (Luka Petrusic), a 14-year-old mute refugee who spends his days secretly taping other people's conversations and listening to his sister Smokey (Mitevska) having sex. Helen befriends the boy, unaware he is spying on her meetings with her DJ boyfriend Bob (Ben Daniels). But things really heat up when her old flame Martin (Face/Off's Nivola) returns to town, fresh from a lengthy prison spell for bludgeoning her dad to death. He begins pursuing her obsessively once again, though she is understandably reluctant to pick up where they left off.

Such a set-up is inevitably hurtling towards a far from pleasant outcome, something which Winterbottom signposts by his use of brooding, grimy visuals, irredeemable characters, crafty double-crosses and downbeat tunes (the Elvis Costello song, from which the film takes its title, popping up at regular intervals). It's strikingly shot, though, looking far better on the big screen than many of its gritty Brit peers, and boasts a fine trio of leads in the shape of Weisz, Mitevska and Nivola, the latter proving himself once and for all as a name to watch.

Despite its favourable points, this creepy, thought-provoking little movie will prove a tad too weird and gloomy for all tastes, with its use of flashbacks, dream sequences and blurry camera angles leaving it firmly rooted in the arthouse brigade. But it does cement Winterbottom's status as one of the country's most interesting filmmakers.

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