Saoirse Ronan redeems her role in The Host with her latest film, How I Live Now.
How I Live Now is unlike any movie I've ever seen. While it holds many resemblances to films like The Road and Children of Men, this is a much more intimate tale of the toll a modern war would take on our relationships and civilization as a whole. It does not glamorize violence but presents an ultra realistic look at how easily our lives could be changed in an instant by an insurgent terrorist attack. Unlike other films that paint the near future in ultra stark color, How I Live Now maintains some stunning scenes of vivid light use as it delivers a shimmering beacon of hope that love will conquer all.
Saoirse always brings something special to smaller films like this. She has a natural talent and essence about her that lends itself to carrying the heavy weight of emotionally charged, heartfelt performances. She's extremely easy on the eyes but isn't hesitant about flexing her dramatic muscles as one of today's best young actresses. Her role in How I Live Now isn't going to win her any awards but it's a true testament to her ability to take on a lead part and make it her own unique character with an emotional impact that many other actresses these days simply lack.
The first twenty minutes of the film are a bit confusing and nothing really starts to flesh out until the half hour mark or so. But when the movie finally takes a drastic turn for the worst, it becomes an emotional roller coaster through a countryside ravaged by violence. If anything, How I Live Now will convince you to not take things for granted and to make sure the ones around you know how much you love them. In these modern times of terrorism, How I Live Now could easily become reality.
If you've enjoyed movies like The Road or Children of Men, you'll probably like How I Live Now. Unlike those two, this movie would appeal to both men and women with its tale of love amongst the wreckage of modern warfare. How I Live Now feels intimate and revels in its independent art house feel as its fueled by a great performance and a very timely topic. See it.
-Review by Chris George