Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than... Read allLife changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on.Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on.
The teenage-girl is played well by Chloe Grace Moretz. As film opens we discover that she is part of a sickly-sweet family that seems just too perfect. Off out together, they are involved in an accident. Miss Moretz's character, Mia Hall, comes to, but does not understand why she is being ignored by the emergency services, as she stumbles about in a dream-like state. Seeing herself, she starts to understand, as she goes to the hospital. These scenes all occur at the start of the film, the rest of the film is based at the hospital, with the majority of the film being flash-backs.
Director RJ Cutler has done a good job here. The scenes at the accident are, as said, rather dream-like, thus capturing the confused state of Miss Hall. Miss Moretz captures well the disorientation of her character. Both Director Mr Cutler and actress Miss Moretz capture well the out-of-body experience. As a disembodied spirit, Mia Hall has no physical abilities thus travel can only be achieved via open doors etc.
Thus, 'If I Stay' is completely different from 'Ghost' and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply', both of 1990. Those films were about the interaction of living breathing humans and the spirits of dead humans. Not so in this film. 'If I Stay' does however share one thing with both of those other films, a love story.
Flashbacks tell us that the teenage schoolgirl Mia Hall, has fallen in love with older boy Adam, played by Jamie Buckley. The two were attracted to each other, and did fall in love, but were troubled with what might be described as musical differences. Thus this film has a major musical plot-line that reminds of the recently screened 'Begin Again'. The films are similar in many ways, the major one being that we viewers get to hear a fair bit of music. Mia and boyfriend Adam are both musicians, though very different ones. However the music does provide one further link to 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'.
The two young lovers are ably supported by a great cast, all of whom are good, but special mention should go to those playing family members. Joshua Leonard plays Mia's father. He and the Director got the flashback scenes just right, they are also funny, as we see the younger wild rocker turn into the more sedate parent. Hair-styles in those scenes was particularly good. Mireille Enos, playing the mother, has some poignant scenes with her daughter. However the most emotional scenes were with veteran actor Stacy Keach. He gives a stand-out performance, particularly in one very emotional and very important scene.
Preparing for her role in Kick Ass (2010), Miss Moretz trained with a stunt-crew for three months and also did most of her own stunts. For her musical role in 'If I Stay', Miss Moretz is also reported to have engaged in much musical study. Last year she gave a tremendous performance in the 2013 remake of 'Carrie'. Here, in 'If I Stay', we once again see Miss Moretz play a somewhat shy girl, that sometimes seems dreamily unaware, but that at other times capture perfectly the utmost depths of the rawest of emotions.
Shauna Cross wrote the screenplay of the Gayle Forman novel. Director RJ Cutler has done a great job. Outside shots, particularly those featuring different seasons, were done well, ably capturing the sense of passing time.
This teenage love-story shares a supernatural spiritual love story like 'Ghost' and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'. Like 'TMD' it also has some hauntingly beautiful music. The film is also about music and could be described as a teenage version of 'Begin Again'. If you liked any of those films, then 'If I Stay' will appeal to you.
This tearjerker deserves 10/10 but needs a hanky.
- Sep 2, 2014