EUFF 2017: Our Review Of ‘Adult Life Skills’

Posted in EUFF 2017, Festival Coverage, Movies by - November 21, 2017
EUFF 2017: Our Review Of ‘Adult Life Skills’

English actress Jodie Whittaker switches from fighting aliens in Attack the Block to…. Well, there is still outer space shenanigans in Adult Life Skills. It’s a fictional outer space where her thumbs play astronauts. Whittaker uses her comic skills to play 29-year-old Anna.

Anna is an outdoor camp supervisor who makes the space videos in her mother Marion’s (Lorraine Ashbourne) garden shed. Most people would have moved out at her age but she hasn’t. There are many things keeping her stranded in her overgrown adolescence.

However, the main reason is the death of Anna’s twin brother Billy two years before. Many have delayed their adulthood for less, and that includes me. And Whittaker expresses Anna’s pain and defensive nature well, reacting to how even her mother wants her to move on.

Writer-director Rachel Tunnard explores many aspects of Anna’s loss. Adult Life Skills has an obvious low-key production design. Even with that, she populates Anna’s world with the possessions she shared with the twin that’s no longer there. The movie also takes place around a birthday she has to celebrate alone.

Adult Life Skills shows how a grieving person responds to different supporting characters’ way of helping things. While Marion’s attempts fail, because no one listens to mother anymore. But a kid named Clint (Ozzy Myers) inadvertently encourages her healing.

This character introduction might have exposed the film’s biggest flaw. The combination of unsuccessful adult and the precocious child exposes the characters as archetypes. It also makes the film look like one of the indie dramedies that America and Britian churn out every year.

But despite of these flaws, Whittaker brings out Anna’s complexities and even shows the character’s intellectual side. At its best Adult Life Skills makes the heart heavy like a good drama with a mature streak should.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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