Indie Gems: Charlie Countryman

Is it necessary for Charlie to die?

I couldn't help but reference the film's original title. They should've kept it.

Charlie's (Shia LaBeouf) mother (Melissa Leo) has just passed away. Charlie feels lost and has a vision of his mother after she dies. She tells him to go to Bucharest, Romania. He does just that, when a man he's sitting next to on the plane dies, he has another vision to meet the man's daughter. He also does just that, he meets Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood) a beautiful and now heartbroken cello player. He's drawn to her immediately, but her ex husband Nigel (Mads Mikkelsen) is still in the picture and he is a dangerous man.

The thing that sticks out the most in this film is the music, it's absolutely beautiful. It fits with the fast scenes and free spirits that Charlie and Gabi so obviously have. It can be brutal at times, but it never feels over the top. The cast is great. Rupert Grint has a small role as an aspiring porn star Charlie meets in a hostel that's definitely amusing. Shia, well, I get that people hate him. I've never been one of those people. I've always thought he was alluring on screen, and there's no exception here. I think this might be one of his best features. Evan Rachel Wood was great as well. I can't tell you if her Romanian accent was convincing or not. I'm not familiar with them. It seemed like a decent Eastern European accent. Mads was interesting too. He's dangerous, but at times very amusing.

And don't worry, Charlie's mother does eventually explain why she picked Bucharest. That was kind of getting on my nerves because it's not addressed until the end.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "That is the most pathetic display of puffer fish.." - Nigel (Mads Mikkelson)

9 comments:

  1. Good review Brittani. Some may consider this to be "overly stylized", but I think that's what I liked so much about this movie. It took a fairly conventional premise, and spun it in a way that made it interesting and worth paying attention to.

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    1. Definitely! I loved it. If I had seen this before I made my top 10 of 2013. This would've been on it.

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  2. I had a few problems with it, but the music was great, indeed. I liked Shia's and Evan Rachel Wood's performances too. B for me.

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  3. I really enjoyed it. A lot of the stylised aspects really worked for me, not to mention the awesome and fitting soundtrack. Shia LaBeouf was surprisingly excellent, Mads Mikkelsen was brilliantly terrifying and I’m forever still in love with Evan Rachel Wood.

    However, the film is everywhere and nowhere at once. I really loved the first half, and then it completely shifts tone in a really unsubtle way, which I didn’t care for. There’s so many different things going on in the film, that it loses its identity. Ironic since its about the quest for love and discovery of self-identity. Charlie Countryman suffers from some shoddy writing. I loved the cast and the film is visually gorgeous.

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    1. I didn't think the writing was too shoddy, it really is just an enjoyable film to watch. I am in love with ERW as well, she's been one of my favorites since the first time I saw Thirteen.

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  4. I still haven't seen this one but it's high up on my watchlist :) I can't stand Shia but Mads will definitely even things out for me :)

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    1. Mads is a total creep in this! Poor Shia, everyone hates that dude. lol

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  5. Thanks Brit. I was double minded about watching this one, but now I'll give it a go.

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