Enoch is a strange boy, definitely: he doesn’t got to school, has as a friend Hiroshi, a (kamikaze) Japanese ghost, and he sneaks to the funerals. One day, at a wake, he meets Annabel, a slender figure with androgynous features already chased by death: she soon reveals to be a terminally ill with cancer, to whom remain only three months of life, and together they will live intensely every moment chasing the days and the dreams until the last minute.
It’s unusual to find such delicate and evocative images of death in a movie starring young adolescents, moreover in a sleepy American small town. A story of ethereal beauty like that of little Annabel, played by Mia Wasikowska, amazing for his empathy with the character. The two are young people of another era, graceful, blond as children in antique paintings, pale as ghosts in an autumn woods, elegant in vintage clothing even when they ride bicycles. They go without fear towards death, expected, lost, avoided and even represented, as in the scene where Annabel pretends to be dying in order to play with Enoch her “last words“.
Enoch and Annabel meet at a funeral, and completing the circle, the story ends after three months in the same place. Two souls linked to the death, who together live more than they could ever do alone, because in death their love finds existence, eternity, and reason for being.
When the end comes, expected and accepted, the bond is not broken, and in the final scene that is perhaps the most emotional of the movie (on the superb voice of NICO), Enoch doesn’t talk, doesn’t tell with vain words what of wonderful he and Annabel had created, but he reminds, bringing to mind the images that only they have shared, and he smiles, smiles because what’s been can never be erased, even by the cruel finality of death.
A gentle story where two young souls float in a “dance of death“, on ironic, crepuscular, joyous, melancholy tones.
The celebration of life through a fascination with death, a cruel story of youth that makes you cry only after made you passionate about existence.