Newest Reviews
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
  Last Keepers, The A Bewitching tale
Year: 2013
Director: Maggie Greenwald
Stars: Aidan Quinn, Virginia Madsen, Zosia Mamet, Olympia Dukakis, Sam Underwood, Nat Wolff, Joshua Bowman, Jee Young Han, Lola Cook, Alexandra Metz, Edward Crawford, Greg Furman, Cabrina Collesides, Patrick c Haylett Jr., J. Mallory-McCree
Genre: Drama, Romance, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Quirky teenager Rhea Carver (Zosia Mamet) makes her own clothes from recycled material, collects junk she turns into art or furniture and lives in the woods with her family of reclusive artists. All of which makes her an easy target for every jock or bitchy girl at high school. Then one day a boy named Oliver (Sam Underwood) reads a poem aloud in class declaring his love for Rhea. At first Rhea is mortified and suspicious but gradually comes to realize sweet-natured Oliver is the guy for her. Their courtship is complicated by strange visions Rhea has of a white-haired little girl (Lola Cook) that lead her to discover she has magical powers that can make plants grow and control water. Eventually, Rhea's mother (Virginia Madsen) and grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) reveal she descended from an ancient line of benevolent witch-like women and has an important destiny in wait. Yet this might not be a destiny Rhea actually wants.

An offbeat addition to the teen fantasy romance trend, The Last Keepers holds the distinction of not being based on a teen lit bestseller but instead an original story co-devised by producer Claude Dal Farra, who handled Bachelorette (2012) and Liberal Arts (2012), and director Maggie Greenwald. Greenwald is an intriguing, idiosyncratic talent whose eclectic filmography includes the feminist western The Ballad of Little Jo (1993), Jim Thompson neo-noir adaptation The Kill-Off (1989) and Get a Clue (2002), an early Disney vehicle for Lindsay Lohan. Much is made of how the Twilight saga is really an allegory for the pathway from adolescence to womanhood yet that franchise still adheres to an established fantasy-adventure template with battles to be won and the fate of the Earth at stake. By contrast The Last Keepers is genuinely more interested in the emotional dilemmas faced by its iconoclastic teen heroine than the fantasy angle. There are no big bad monsters lying in wait for Rhea Carver but a lot of equally frightening life decisions. Tension arises from her desire to rail against her destiny, realizing her own dreams will come to naught if all she can ever be is a mother.

Screenwriters Peter Hutchings and Christina Mengert craft a lyrical, nurturing, in some ways very feminine narrative that is not conflict based at all. Greenwald proves more adept at handling the warm, faceted human relationships than the fantasy mystery side of the plot which is low-key to the point where things are hard to get a handle on. Clich├ęd talk of "the prophecy has been fulfilled" fails to clarify the Carver family's mystical origin or the exact nature of the supposedly impending worldwide eco-catastrophe. Although evidently sincere, aspects of the environmental issues dealt with in the film grow a trifle heavy-handed with the burden of global eco disaster thrust onto Rhea's shoulders. Yet frankly it is rather nice to find a fantasy film with no interest in loud, effects-heavy battles and devoted instead to detailing its heroine's growing confidence as a woman. As is the case with a lot of teen fantasy films the heroine's personal arc implies those qualities that make high school so awkward are the very same that allow us to excel as adults.

The characters are uniformly likeable with stalwart work from reliable players like Aidan Quinn as Rhea's father and Virginia Madsen. Sam Underwood is instantly engaging as love interest Oliver whose own inherent individuality really does make him a perfect match for Rhea while Zosia Mamet, part of the ensemble cast of television sensation Girls and daughter of celebrated playwright and filmmaker David Mamet, is an exceptional lead. Rhea is a rare teen fantasy heroine who is recognizably 'real', complex and equal parts confident and insecure yet attractive though not in any contrived fashion model way. It is to the film's credit that she gains self-confidence through her own actions rather than being force-fed any trite life lessons from some sagely elder. Shot in rich, beguiling autumnal colours by cinematographer Wolfgang Held, this is a great looking movie with a winningly benign nature surmized in the closing line: "I want to help."

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 1486 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: