Sometimes, you can tell which movies are going to play well during awards season. A24’s upcoming release, Aftersun, seems likely to get a lot of attention simply by being unique in the marketplace. It’s not a conventional drama, nor are the stakes sky-high. Instead, it’s an emotionally affecting look at a young girl’s bond with her father, through apparent home movies that were filmed decades ago. This gives Aftersun an unusual look that makes it stand out from the crowd. But it wouldn’t mean anything if the viewer didn’t care for the two leading characters.
Paul Mescal stars in the film as Calum, with Francesca Corio as his daughter, Sophie. There’s not a lot of plot details in the trailer, and we suspect that the movie itself isn’t necessarily story driven. Instead, it depends largely on the interactions between the father and daughter duo. Through their dialogue in the trailer, we can deduce that Sophie is living with her mother and that Calum left his native Scotland without any intention of ever going back. But that doesn’t mean he wants to leave Sophie behind.
The film is largely based around Calum and Sophie’s vacation in Turkey, but some of the things Calum says to Sophie suggests that he wants to remain heavily involved with her life even at a long distance. That’s why she’s noticeably embarrassed when he suggests that they can talk about anything, even the boys she meets and the drugs she takes. But she might be a little too young for that discussion.
Although she isn’t seen in the trailer, Celia Rowlson-Hall co-stars in the film as adult Sophie, with Harry Perdios as Toby. Brooklyn Toulson and Sally Messham have supporting roles.
This is the feature-length directorial debut of Charlotte Wells, who also wrote the film. Aftersun debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, and A24 will release the film in theaters on October 21.
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