Holy shyte! Now THIS is a movie!
If Twilight is your idea of a good vampire love story, you haven't seen this one. This drama/horror is both unsettling and touching at the same time (best exemplified in the film's climax). Perhaps more disturbing than the vampyric attacks shown on screen is the blunt depiction of bullying and violence between normal children. Yet the film is full of juxtapositions, and the brutal abuse we see is countered by the tender romance, acted out with precocious skill by the two young leads. Even visually, the film is thematically appropriate, or rather, stunning. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema creates gorgeous and eerie contrasts of the black sky and the white snow for outdoor shoots, and is brilliantly selective about what he chooses to have in focus and what not to. It's the sort of detailed, underspoken work that deserves Academy Award recognition, but sadly will fail to receive any.
That this movie was not submitted by Sweden as their official foreign language film entry is a shame, but I take comfort in the belief that even if it had been, the Academy's archiaic selection committee almost certainly would not have shortlisted it anyway. It's much too smart and intense for them. Similarly, it consoles me to know that this near-masterpiece doesn't stand a shot at any other nominations, because then it won't feel like it's been snubbed. But I can assure you, when I crank out my personal ballot after the weekend, Let the Right One In will certainly be let in.
**** out of ****
By the way, the sidebar predictions have been updated, and will probably stay that way until the eve of the nominations.