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Restless

Year: 2011
Studio: Columbia
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Jason Lew
Cast: Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska

Hello, my name is Quirk Quirkington, I'm from Quirktown in Quirk County and my hobbies are quirking with quirks and maintaining multiple quirks while I indulge my many quirks, and also quirking quirkly quirk quirkishly quirky quirkity quirk...

I'm not suggesting the writer or a script editor went over the screenplay and loaded in every possible alt-character styling they could, but it sure seems that way. The jumping off point for the character of Enoch (Hopper) – it seems they even wanted to make his name weird – is that he dresses like an undertaker everywhere he goes and has a fascinating for crashing funerals.

He's also friends with the ghost of a World War II kamikaze pilot who shows up every now and then to give him life advice and throw stones at trains passing across a bridge spanning a river like it was a sequel to Stand By Me.

It's never explained why he has either desire/ability, and it doesn't help that Enoch is the most irritating, ungrateful shit who's graced a screen in a long time. I was never sure if you're supposed to identify with him but I wanted to slap the kid the entire way through.

Hopper is either a terrible actor or it's just an emotionally unresponsive character, neither of which makes him any more watchable. But the lack of respect and selfishness he shows at every turn make him just another coddled kid who doesn't know how good he has it with a parent who puts food on the table (Bella Swann, I'm looking at you). The disdain he treats the poor Aunt who's taken him in and raised him since the death of his parents is the icing on the poisoned cake.

Mia Wasikowska as Annabel is at least more interesting. She catches his eye at a funeral he crashes and – for some unexplained reason – likes the look of him and pursues him.

They end up in a relationship before we find out she has a terminal illness, and it makes the whole story a bit more realistic and gives it a little more dimension, but not enough to save you from such an annoying lead and too much awards bait crammed into every frame.

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