How I Live Now – movie review

How I Live Now is a very unusual movie taking place in the very near future.  It stars Irish actress Saoirse Ronan as a spoiled American teenager (Daisy) from New York City who has been sent to live in England for the summer. She is not happy about being there, and knows that her very wealthy father really sent her away so that he could be alone with his latest trophy wife.

Saoirse (pronounced sir-sha) is an extremely talented actress who is known for her ability to do every kind of accent perfectly.  In this movie she does a great job not only with the accent;  but also with  portraying an American teenager’s attitude (rude).

However, once in England Daisy begins to warm up to the relatives she is staying with and becomes a more likable person as she slowly lets  the wall of rudeness around her begin to fall. She even begins to fall in love with a very down to Earth nice guy.

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But this is not just another teenage “coming of age” movie. While the adolescents are enjoying their Summer there is something sinister going on in the background. Snippets of news programs the adults are listening to show that the countries in Europe are on the verge of major war. It is scary but it seems so very far away from this remote part of Northern England.

Then terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb in London and the Summer changes.

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I will not give away the rest of the movie other than to say that the war has reached England full force and the lives of Daisy and the other kids are forever changed.  As the title of the movie implies, most of the events are about the lives of the kids after the war begins. How they cope, what pains they endure and what choices they are forced to make are what makes this movie so compelling.

This is a forceful movie for a number of reasons. The acting is superb and the plot is excellent.  It is not too far fetched to think that these events could actually happen. The movie shows that there is really no such thing as true security and that kids are no longer protected from the events of the adult world.

We give this movie Four Stars ****

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