The course of true love runs less than smooth in this engrossing debut feature from writer-director Harry Wootliff
Here’s something special – a terrifically engrossing drama about two wholly believable characters, made with the kind of wit, honesty and raw emotional intimacy that pierces right to the heart of their relationship. Vividly rendered, and filled with tangible yearning, it strikes a balance between romantic passion and mundane domesticity, as the skin-prickling attraction of new love is tested by the day-to-day tribulations of real life.
At the heart of the film’s charms are a pair of flawless performances by Laia Costa and Josh O’Connor, both superbly directed by writer-director Harry Wootliff in her very impressive feature debut. Costa, who did such breathtaking work in the one-take German drama Victoria, is Elena, a Spanish émigré living in Glasgow. Stumbling home from a New Year’s Eve party, she finds herself sharing a cab with fresh-faced postgrad-student-cum-DJ Jake, played with wide-eyed charm by Josh O’Connor, the arresting star of God’s Own Country. One thing leads to another and they wind up back at Elena’s flat, where Jake compliments her vinyl collection (“it was my dad’s …”) and they dance to a classic cut from Elvis Costello’s Blood & Chocolate album. “How old do you think I am?” she asks when he tells her he’s 26. “My age, or maybe older … 28?”