Submarine (2010 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

US theatrical poster
Directed byRichard Ayoade
Written byRichard Ayoade
Based onSubmarine
by Joe Dunthorne
Produced by
  • Mary Burke
  • Mark Herbert
  • Andy Stebbing
CinematographyErik Wilson
Edited by
Music by
Distributed byOptimum Releasing (United Kingdom)
The Weinstein Company (United States)
Release dates
  • 12 September 2010 (2010-09-12) (TIFF)
  • 18 March 2011 (2011-03-18) (United Kingdom)[1]
  • 3 June 2011 (2011-06-03) (United States: limited)
Running time
97 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$1.5 million
Box office$4.6 million[2]

Submarine is a 2010 coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Richard Ayoade and starring Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins. It was adapted from the 2008 novel Submarine by Joe Dunthorne, and is an international co-production between the United Kingdom and the United States. Submarine is Ayoade's directorial debut.[3]


Oliver Tate is an unpopular 15-year-old who is infatuated with classmate Jordana. After Oliver teases another girl to get Jordana's attention, she invites him to meet secretly after school and takes pictures of them kissing. Jordana uses the pictures to make her ex-boyfriend Mark jealous; Mark roughs up Oliver, but Oliver refuses to say that Jordana is a slut. Jordana becomes Oliver's girlfriend and, after a couple of weeks, they have sex in his bedroom while his parents are out.

At home, Oliver becomes concerned about his parents. His father, Lloyd, is depressed. New-age guru Graham, an ex-boyfriend of his mother, Jill, has moved in next door, and his flirtations rouse Oliver's suspicions.

Oliver's relationship with Jordana grows, but he learns that her mother has a potentially fatal brain tumour. At an early Christmas dinner at Jordana's house, he witnesses her father break down. Unsettled, he decides that the Jordana he loves is at risk because the emotional events surrounding her will "make her gooey in the middle." Rather than visit Jordana's mother in hospital, as he has promised to, he loses his nerve and cuts off contact.

Thinking that his mother and Graham are having an affair, Oliver attempts to repair his parents' relationship. While searching for his mother on the beach, he is stunned to see Jordana with another boy. Walking home, dejected, he sees his mother with Graham and assumes the worst. Enraged, he breaks into Graham's house, gets drunk, and commits minor acts of vandalism. When Graham comes home, he finds Oliver but returns him home with minimal fuss. The next morning, Oliver awakes to see that both his parents aren't angry with him and are reconciling.

Oliver remains distraught about losing Jordana; he is downhearted for weeks, until he sees her on the beach. He runs to her and apologizes, learning that Jordana does not actually have a new boyfriend. Together, they walk several inches deep into the sea, smiling.




Michael Sheen and X Factor contestant Lucie Jones were originally cast in the film but dropped out due to other commitments.[4][5]


The film was produced by Warp Films and Film4 Productions.[6] Principal photography began on 26 October 2009 and filming finished in December 2009. Filming locations in Wales included Swansea, Cardiff, Rhondda, and Barry.[7]


Six original songs were written and performed by Alex Turner, the frontman of Arctic Monkeys.[8] The soundtrack charted at 35 in the UK Album Chart.

The original score was composed by Andrew Hewitt, long-time collaborator of Ayoade, recorded at Air Studios with The Composers Ensemble orchestra.


The film premiered at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010.[9] Following a generally positive reception it was picked up by The Weinstein Company for a North American release.[10] The film also played at the 54th London Film Festival in October 2010 and was played out of competition at the 27th Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.[11][12] It was also screened along with 400 other films at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival the next month.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Submarine received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 88% based on reviews from 156 critics, with an average score of 7.4/10. The website's critics consensus: "Funny, stylish, and ringing with adolescent truth, Submarine marks Richard Ayoade as a talent to watch."[14] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 76 based on 37 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[15]

Critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3/4 stars saying "Submarine isn't an insipid teen sex comedy. It flaunts some stylistic devices, such as titles and sections and self-aware narration, but it doesn't try too hard to be desperately clever. It's a self-confident work for the first-time director, Richard Ayoade, whose purpose I think is to capture that delicate moment in some adolescent lives when idealism and trust lead to tentative experiments. Because Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige are enormously likable in their roles, they win our sympathy and make us realize that too many movies about younger teenagers are filtered through the sensibility of more weathered minds."[16]


  1. ^ James White (14 January 2011). "Ben Stiller Talks Submarine". Empire. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Submarine (2011)". The Numbers. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  3. ^ Noel Murray and Scott Tobias (16 September 2010). "TIFF '10: Day 7". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  4. ^ "X Factor's Lucie Jones 'to appear in film with Michael Sheen". The Daily Telegraph. London. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Web auditions for Sheen film cast". BBC News. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Shooting begins on comedy Submarine". UK Film Council. 26 October 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  7. ^ Prior, Neil (13 March 2011). "Joe Dunthorne book Submarine has Swansea film premiere". BBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  8. ^ Young, Alex (14 December 2010). "Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner contributes music to Sundance film Submarine". Consequence. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  9. ^ Brad Frenette (27 July 2010). "Toronto International Film Fest announces 2010 lineup". National Post. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  10. ^ Diana Lodderhose and Pamela McClintock (15 September 2010). "Weinsteins win 'Submarine' bidding war". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  11. ^ David Gritten (10 July 2010). "London Film Festival preview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  12. ^ Germain Lussier (12 February 2010). "2011 Sundance Film Festival Out of Competition Films Announced". /Film. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  13. ^ Scott Roxborough (17 January 2011). "Berlin Announces Forum Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Submarine". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 5 October 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  15. ^ "Submarine". Metacritic. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  16. ^ Haws, Marie (8 June 2011). "Submarine Movie Review & Film Summary (2011) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 28 November 2013.

External links[edit]