Much like the road to hell, Restless is paved with good intentions. But Gus Van Sant’s latest—a film that in very few ways resembles a typical Van Sant effort—tries so hard to be quirky and different that it’s nearly impossible to like. It also plays on heartstrings with a rather bold deliberation, when it ought to tread much lighter. Oddball Enoch (Henry Hopper) meets cancer-patient Annabel (Mia Wasikowska) at a funeral; their worlds, shipwrecked by the Big C and the death of Enoch’s parents, begin to hold some meaning. Great. Fantastic. But do we need a ghost of a kamikaze pilot popping up now and then to dispense dating advice? Didn’t see that coming, did you? It’s an attempt to be charming, but like so many accents in Restless, it’s only grating.
Director: Gus Van Sant
Producer: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Bryce Howard, David Cress, Eric Black and Frank Mancuso Jr.
Cast: Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska, Ryo Kase, Schuyler Fisk, Jane Adams, Chin Han and Lusia Strus