My Summer of Love chronicles two contemporary English teenagers in a tender, yet intense manner.
Set in West Yorkshire, the despondent, moped-riding Mona (Natalie Press) shares living quarters above a pub with older brother Phil, played by Paddy Considine, the dock-working friend of Jim Braddock in Cinderella Man.
Phil is changing his criminal past by realizing his wish since becoming a born-again Christian - turning the inherited pub into an evangelical church.
Mona isn't satisfied with the results of a relationship with a married boyfriend (Dean Andrews) and is captivated by the equestrian Tamsin (Emily Blunt), a wealthy collegiate spending the summer at her parents' nearby palatial home.
Polish-born writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski coolly works the intimacy into the closed-knit religious experience slowly producing something rather drastic. Electronic pop music fits noticeably well into the naturalistic filmmaking that shows how some people can bond in unexpected ways to break out of their loneliness.
While Considine proves he is a reliable talent in the ilk of Stephen Rea (he shines in a moment where a cross is built on a hill overlooking the village), the first outings for Press and Blunt are impressive, as their relationship brings true emotion with it. There is passion that somehow goes beyond class barriers.
This coming-of-age drama is snug given its pacing and works out its conflict effectively with bittersweet, unpredictable results. My Summer of Love glows with surreal persuasion as two unknown actresses seductively shimmer as spirited, almost heavenly creatures.
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