10 November 2004 | paul2001sw-1
Pavel Pavlikovski directed the bleak, austere 'Last Resort', and was sacked from 'Sylvia' on grounds of having an insufficiently commercial sensitivity.
Now he had made 'My Summer of Love', a nicely observed tale of a teenage lesbian romance. As in 'Last Resort', Russian-born Pavlikovski paints an enticingly skewed picture of Britain that rings true in spite of its aberrence; and gets good performances out of his cast, especially Paddy Considine as the brother of one of the girls, who could certainly have used more screen-time, though his co-stars Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt are also good. The film steers clear of cliché, and has some dryly funny dialogue, but what it lacks is a sense of time as a continuum: it feels like a semi-random sampling of its characters' lives, and although there is a clear plot it's hidden in the background, apparent only later. In some ways, this is also true to life, but it also means that the film remains low-key right up to the moment of its suddenly dramatic conclusion. Pavlikovski also seems surprisingly keen on static location shots (before we see the characters inside of a house, we always see the house from outside),
which jars slightly given the film's general artistic merits. Distinctive, and well-worth watching, 'My Summer of Love' isn't quite a great film; but it is an interesting effort from a director committed to representing life in the ways that Hollywood never does.