The DISH Austerity Program, there was really one outlet on our system for uncut, commercial-free movies…and that was HDNet Movies, a channel that spun-off from HDNet (now signing all correspondence as AXS TV) in 2003 and launched by gazillionaire Mark Cuban…who is, in some quarters, said to be considering a Presidential run in 2020 after also threatening to do so in 2016. Not because he can solve America’s problems…but more along the lines of “If Donald Trump can become president, why can’t I?” (This is the point on the blog where I curl up in a ball and weep uncontrollably…just bear with me and it will pass quickly.)
In Never Let Me Go (2010), a title card reads: “The breakthrough in medical science came in 1952. Doctors could now cure the previously incurable. By 1967, life expectancy passed 100 years.” What follows is a reminiscence by a woman (Carey Mulligan) identified as “Kathy H,” as she looks back fondly on her experiences at a boarding school known as Hailsham. The young Kathy (Isobel Meikle-Small) has two close friends at the school: Ruth C (Ella Purnell) and Tommy D (Charlie Rowe)—Kathy has quite the romantic attachment to young Tom, but Ruth effortlessly steals the boy’s affections because she’s a bit of a b-word. Hailsham isn’t all that different from the usual repressive boarding school, though the students there are constantly encouraged to get in touch with their artistic side by submitting their work to The Gallery, which is administered by a mysterious woman known only as Madame (Nathalie Richard).
|Isobel Meikle-Small as the young Kathy|
Do you know what happens to children when they grow up? No, you don't, because nobody knows. They might grow up to become actors, move to America. Or they might work in supermarkets. Or teach in schools. They might become sportsmen or bus conductors or racing car drivers. They might do almost anything. But with you we do know. None of you will go to America. None of you will work in supermarkets. None of you will do anything except live the life that has already been set out for you.
The acting in Never Let Me Go is first-rate, with a cast of thesps that I must grudgingly admit I have but only a passing familiarity. I got the opportunity to see Carey Mulligan in Suffragette (2015) during one of our HBO-Cinemax “freeviews,” and enjoyed her performance tremendously in that one. The actress leapt at the chance to play the lead in Never Let Me Go, purportedly because Ishiguro’s novel is her favorite book. She’s most convincing in both her teen and adult years as a strong individual who remains resolute despite having been informed early in life of her fate, and her measured, understated turn has lingered in my memory despite it having been about a month since I sat down and watched this from the DVR.
|Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield|