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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – An endless sight

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” – Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

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You have to deeply love cinema in order to comprehend its role in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s movie.

You have to experience movies on your skin, with all their emotional power. You have to run on the shore with Antoine Doinel, or struggle in the Amazonian jungle with Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski.

Greg, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s main character, made movies his purpose in life but, year after year, movie after movie, he used them to keep it far from him. That same life inevitably crashes into him in the worst way, through the eyes and the lovely smile of Rachel, girl affected by leukemia. Everything changes: Greg’s vision of the world becomes more intense and painful, even against his will. And suddenly movies are not enough anymore: they are something already created, stories already told, even if in such a wonderful way. In order to confess his true core to his friend, he needs to come back to the pure meaning of image, movement, sound. And in doing that he exposes himself and confesses his own inadequacy in a scene about communion and harmony that’s bound to stay printed in the audience’s mind for the next few years.

Adapting Jesse Andrews’ novel, Alfonso Gomes-Rejon composes an articulate puzzle, which matches Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry in it’s aesthetic, but also has a throbbing heart.

The director puts the entire movie on 23-year-old Thomas Mann’s surprising powerful shoulders, and he rewards him with a perfect performance, giving life to an indolent and absolutely human teenager. Hats off to all of them.

Adriano Ercolani
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