With a similar feel to Drake Doremus’ last film Like Crazy, Breathe In captures the moment perfectly again, with stand-out performances from leads Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce going a long way to providing a mesmersing love story.
The plot starts of with UK exchange student Sophie (Felicity Jones) arriving to her host families upstate New York home. We meet the host family and instantly see how Keith (Guy Pearce), a high school music teacher who still longs for a career in music of his own, has an almost nervous feel towards young Sophie. His wife Megan (Amy Ryan) and daughter Lauren (Mackenzie Davis) also star quite well in the film, however it’s the connection between Pearce and Jones that is so strong and fascinating.
Felicity Jones is simply stunning on screen and with her mesmerising eyes and charm, it’s easy to see how Pearce’s character is so quickly attracted to her, especially with their shared passion of music. It’s a great effort from Jones too, playing an 18 year old when she herself is 29, and it’s almost a strength of the character as she feels so mature for her age. Keith is also a mature character, with a family and responsibilities and his thoughts of them together are purely just imaginary, or so we believe towards the beginning of the story. Their relationship develops slowly and over time, almost to a breaking point and I found it to have a large sense of realism compared to many films in which an older man simply gives up his morale’s instantly.
Director Drake Doremus creates a mature feel to the film, with strong messages throughout of boundaries, constraints, conveying our true thoughts and the consequences of our actions. The character development is great as we feel the slow burning nature of the relationship and how each character has underlying reasons for their actions, from Keith’s feelings of lost youth to Sophie’s admiration of his skill and passion.
The visuals of the film are great and the relatively slow pace works well to exemplify the complicating factors throughout. Considering all the characters have some glaring morale flaws at times, the film does well to help us overlook these flaws and see them as humans trying to make their individual lives better.
Breathe In is a mature film and one I was mesmerised in throughout. I was enthralled with the relationships, not just of Keith and Sophie but the family with each other. It finishes with a strong emotional point too, perhaps one the audience is not expecting. Highly recommended from me. A-
Australian Release Date: TBA.