Saturday, August 06, 2011


Oliver, the subject of Submarine, is the only son of a depression-prone marine biologist and an office worker . He worries a lot about his parents relationship (particularly since one his mother's old flames has moved in to the house next door) and about the fact that he's still a virgin. When he's not mooching about in his bedroom he's walking on the beach or on industrial wasteland near home.

One of his school mates, Jordana, who is equally odd but more outgoing, initiates a relationship and then they mooch together. She burns the hair on his legs because it amuses her, and they sit in an old bath in the aforementioned industrial wasteland. They have sex. Eventually Oliver is brave enough to tell her about his fears for his parents relationship, and she confides that her mother has a brain tumour. They teeter towards a meaningful and supportive relationship but Oliver misses his chance to really secure Jordana's affections. She asked him to come with her to the hospital the day her mother has an operation and he doesn't, so she dumps him. Meanwhile, his parents sort their differences.

Submarine takes place in the winter in Wales and so the landscape is gloomy as well as the plot. Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor (Oliver's parents) are completely unbelievable caricatures - think George and Mildred with slightly higher IQ's. Oliver and Jordana are more believable but not very likeable. You could call Submarine a teenage love story or you could call it an oddball coming of age movie. For either of those genres to be successful its necessary to like or at least sympathise with the protagonists - and I didn't.

Anne's rating 1.5/5

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