Based on an adaptation of the award-winning book of the same title, the story tells of young love, courage and finding the way home
It’s a love that’s not common, but still a type of love nonetheless.
In this adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s book, How I Live Now spins a tale of love, loss and the long way home.
A Troubled Teen
American teenager Daisy, played by Saoirse Ronan (of Atonement and Hanna fame), has attitude to burn.
Daisy’s mother passed away during her birth and, with too much tension in her adolescent years, her father sends her away for the summer to live with her aunt and cousins in the English countryside.
With adverse feelings to the change in her environment, Daisy refuses to warm to her new pastoral surroundings and the three cousins she’s meeting for the first time – 17-year-old Eddie (George Mackay), 14-year-old Isaac (Tom Holland) and eight-year-old Piper (Harley Bird).
The Enchanting Countryside
Despite the dilapidated and forlorn look of the farm that by all appearance looks to be crumbling around them, Brackendale is indeed an enchanting place.
Meanwhile, the cousins’ mother is (Anna Chancellor, of BBC series “Pride and Prejudice”) engrossed in her role as a peace negotiator to the deteriorating relationships between the countries of the world.
In her absence, Daisy and her cousins have the run of the romantic bohemian idyll to themselves along with their friend Joe, played by Danny McEvoy. As the hard and rebellious shell around Daisy starts to thaw, she finds a more primal instinct starting to stir deep within her whenever she looks at Eddie, and finds herself falling madly in love with him.
An Untold Love
With their feelings quickly developing for each other, they find themselves in a situation threatening to tear their newfound, albeit taboo, love apart with the outbreak of a 21st Century World War, leaving them isolated and forcing them to fend for themselves.
When the cousins are violently separated, Daisy embarks on a terrifying journey in order to reunite with the boy she loves. He is never far from her mind but, as her journey to find him reaches desperation, the idea of what she may or may not find consumes her consciousness and haunts her soul.
The power of young love and the bond it forms grants her the courage to keep on pressing forward, although unsure of the fate that lies ahead.
Rebel Through & Through
Before the filming of the show started, Saoirse Ronan didn’t read Rosoff’s novel, unlike Holland and MacKay. She decided to wait until afterwards, upon Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald’s advice.
“That’s what I prefer to do anyway, because a screenplay will always be different; it’s someone else’s take on the story and I’m interested to see how the book compares, but the script is amazing,” said Ronan.
This movie comes at a great time for Ronan as well, as she was looking for a role in which she could play someone who was just a normal teenager, having played a number of complex or unusual roles already.
She went on to add, “It was perfect that she (Daisy) came along at that time because it was just what I needed, and I loved playing Daisy so much.”
How I Live Now [M18]
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, George MacKay, Tom Holland and Harley Bird
Run Length: 101 min
Release: Jan 23