How I Live Now (film)
|How I Live Now|
|Directed by||Kevin Macdonald|
|Produced by||John Battsek
|Written by||Jeremy Brock
|Based on||How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff
|Music by||Jon Hopkins|
|Editing by||Jinx Godfrey|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures
|Running time||101 minutes|
How I Live Now is a 2013 British drama film based on the 2004 novel of same name by Meg Rosoff, directed by Kevin Macdonald and script written by Tony Grisoni, Jeremy Brock and Penelope Skinner. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, George MacKay, Corey Johnson and Sabrina Dickens. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
Daisy (Saoirse Ronan), a neurotic but strong-willed New York City teenager, is sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with her British cousins, Edmond (George MacKay), Isaac (Tom Holland) and Piper (Harley Bird). News reports playing as she arrives in the United Kingdom reveal a worsening political crisis across the world. Although initially reluctant to interact with them, Daisy finds herself warming up upon learning that her deceased mother used to stay there frequently. She also falls in love with Eddie, her eldest cousin, finding him to be as introverted and strong-willed as her. A few days after her arrival, her aunt flies to Geneva to attend an emergency conference, and the group take advantage of her absence to explore their local woodlands.
However, Daisy's perfect summer is shattered when an unspecified enemy detonate a nuclear bomb in London, killing thousands, and causing a nuclear fallout as far away as their home. Shortly after, a member of the US Consulate in Edinburgh arrives at the house, and tells Daisy that the United States is recalling its citizens in the United Kingdom, before giving her papers to grant her passage home. He advises her cousins to remain indoors and wait for evacuation, so they decide to move to a nearby shelter. After having sex with Eddie, Daisy decides that, whatever happens, she would rather stay with them, and burns her travel documents. The next day, however, the shelter is stormed by the British Army, who take them to an evacuation camp. Daisy and Piper learn that they are to be conscripted as farm labourers, while Isaac and Eddie are to be conscripted into the army. Both Eddie and Daisy resist separation, and Daisy is eventually restrained with cable ties, while Eddie calls to her to return to their home when she gets the chance. Daisy and Piper are then taken to the home of an Army Major and his wife, who will be fostering them, and whose son is fighting in the war. Determined to escape, Daisy discreetly begins hoarding supplies, but as she is about to do so, the camp is attacked by the enemy, and Daisy doesn't have time to take everything she needs before she and Piper are forced to run. Upon stopping, Daisy discovers that she forgot their water purification tablets, forcing them to conserve their remaining water.
As Daisy and Piper hike through the countryside, Daisy finds herself dreaming of Eddie constantly, and interprets them as indications of his current situation. One night, she and Piper witness members of the enemy violently gang-raping a group of survivors in a camp, and helplessly watch as a battered woman is dragged off, before fleeing. Already disturbed by this experience, they happen upon the camp where Isaac and Eddie were taken, and discover that there has been a massacre of its occupants. Daisy is reluctantly forced to look through the bodies to see if anyone they know is among them and, although Eddie isn't among the dead, Isaac is. She mournfully takes his glasses with her, and later buries them under a tree. As they leave, they are spotted by two enemy combatants, who chase them through the woods. Deciding that they cannot outrun them, the two hide, but Piper is discovered by the two men. Daisy threatens them with a gun she brought, and instinctively shoots them both, killing one and wounding another, and the horror of what she has done, along with her fear of what will happen when she arrives home begins to take its toll on her. She and Piper are on the verge of giving up, when they see Eddie's bird flying overhead, and follow it, realising it will lead them home.
Eventually, Daisy and Piper arrive back at their house, and discover it ransacked and empty, with the exception of Jet, Piper's dog. Eddie is not at the barn where they took shelter either, and although Piper is elated to be home, Daisy breaks down in tears outside. The next day, however, the two hear Jet barking, and runs out into the woods, to find Eddie lying unconscious, and severely beaten and burned. As she nurses him, a ceasefire is announced, electricity is returned, a new government is formed, and the country begins to recover. However, it becomes clear that Eddie is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and is a shadow of his former self. Nevertheless, after he accidentally cuts himself while gardening, Daisy tenderly sucks the blood from his cut, mimicking his actions earlier, and his reaction gives her hope that he might recover.
- Saoirse Ronan as Daisy
- Tom Holland as Isaac
- Anna Chancellor as Aunt Penn
- George MacKay as Edmond
- Corey Johnson as Consular official
- Sabrina Dickens as Guerilla soldier's girlfriend
- Natasha Jonas as Natasha
- Sophie Ellis as Farm girl
- Harley Bird as Piper
- Boyd Rogers as Soldier
- Clive Shaw as Soldier corporal
- Danny McEvoy as Joe
- Georgina Fox as Gypsy
- Colin Oliver as Army sergeant
- Gavin Sims as Gypsy
The film was released on 4 October 2013 in the United Kingdom, and is set for release on November 28 2013 in Australia. On July 25, 2013, Magnolia Pictures acquired the US rights to distribute the film.
- "HOW I LIVE NOW (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Catsoulis, Jeannette (November 7, 2013). "Young Love, Interrupted by a Nuclear Bomb". The New York Times.
- "How I Live Now". TIFF. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "First Image Of Saoirse Ronan In 'How I Live Now'". indiewire.com. July 12, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Magnolia Acquires Kevin Macdonald-Helmed ‘How I Live Now’ For Fall Release". deadline.com. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.