February 05, 2017

“Never Let Me Go” splits Telluride critics

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: Man, it’s difficult covering Telluride in the days before Toronto.

I’m not in Colorado for the former festival, but I am heading to Canada for the latter. So I’m trying to collect critical reactions to the films premiering in the mountains while avoiding crucial spoilers before I hit the Great White North and see these anticipated projects for myself.

Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go” is one of the first films I’ll see at TIFF. An adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, it stars Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield as students in a seemingly idyllic English boarding school who must come to terms with some harsh truths as they age.

It played in Telluride to mostly positive reviews, though I’m not digging too deep into filed pieces so as to stay fresh. Just know that Variety called it “a fragile little four-leaf clover of a movie that’s emotionally devastating, yet all too easily trampled by cynics,” while Alex Billington of FirstShowing said it’s “a beautiful film full of fantastic performances.”

Not everyone was jumping for joy, though, as other critics seemed to find “Go” cold and detached. That’s all I want to know. This one is high on my list for Toronto, and if anything’s going to knock it down, I’d prefer it to be the film itself, and my own opinion of it once screened.

“Never Let Me Go” opens in limited release on Sept. 15.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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