I must apologies to you. You see, I’ve put off watching away for some time. For a few weeks now it has sat there, staring at me, asking to be watched. I put it on once and skipped through it but didn’t feel like I was in the mood. More fool me.
Away tells the story of two unlikely people who come together in this northern seaside town. Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises, Maleficent) is Ria, a young girl running from someone, a not very nice someone.
Timothy Spall (Denial, The Journey) is Joseph, a man also running away though he’s running away more from his demons then he is anyone individual.
The two happen to be staying in the same B&B which is handy given both have a tendency to get drunk and pass out on the floor, usually just outside their rooms.
The story is told in a mixed up, jumble sort of way which is a nice touch. It accurately reflects our protagonists lives at the moment.
However, this can sometimes cause confusion (this may also be intentional), as it can at times be difficult to know when we’re in flash back or when we’re in the present.
As the movie goes on you begin to learn more and more about these two spirits who have found each other. Ria is damaged, having been ‘saved’ by Dex, Matt Ryan (Layer Cake, Flypaper), who in reality is anything but a saviour.
Joseph is a man who is determined to not be amongst the living anymore. He has recently lost his wife and, it appears, has nothing further to live for.
His destructive tendencies don’t always mix well with Ria’s attempts at getting her, and her sisters, life back on track.
Writer Roger Hadfield (Butterfly (Short), Tender (Short)) and director David Blair (Anna Karenina (TV), Common) have put together a hard-hitting, beautiful and dramatic movie.
Spall is spellbinding to watch as this alcoholic who thinks he has nothing to lose only to be befriended by Temple who is every bit as masterful.
Temple brings a little bit of sunshine, she’s a glass half-full type of girl despite what life has thrown at her. She’s funny and bright and has a clear plan. It’s a great performance.
I said earlier that I was a fool for not watching this earlier and I stand by that. Away gripped me from the moment I put it on to the moment it ended.
I was on the edge of my seat most of the time, but ran through a whole gamut of emotions as we discovered more and more about the two central characters.
Flaws? Well, the movie is a little predictable and whilst the setting may be new, we have seen this sort of thing before.
In fact, there are huge parallels between Away, filmed in what’s commonly called ‘The Vegas of the North’ (it’s nothing like Vegas for my American readers), and Leaving Las Vegas, set in actual Vegas, the Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue 1995 hit.
Despite that, Away can hold its head up high and Hadfield and Blair can be proud of the movie they’ve turned out.