Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Written & Directed by: #GabrielHenriqueGonzalez
The enigmatic Mia (Anna Åström) bursts into the lives of Charlie (George Blagden), who is coming to terms with his father's death in rural France, and his fiancée Ella (Ellie Turner) in London. As the summer unfolds, it becomes apparent that their three lives are intertwined in ways no one dares to admit.
From the outset, this new film from writer and director Gabriel Henrique Gonzalez bursts with mystery. The opening shots accompanied by a lively score give off major Call Me by Your Name vibes, yet quickly breaking from this likeness in the following scenes. The lush, vibrant locations are perfectly captured in-camera and presented with a sharp colour grade.
One of my favourite parts of the TV show Vikings was George Blagden’s character, so to see him in another role was quite the treat for me. There’s certainly a very likeable charm about him, and he brings that again to his character in How You Look at Me. Supporting him is Anna Åström as the intriguing Mia, an ever-unfolding personality that wedges herself into the middle of a soon-to-be-wedded couple — Ellie Turner’s presence is a graceful one at that. The three actors carry the film well and do a great job with scratching beyond just the surface of their respective roles.
Unfortunately, the visual and audio aspects are the most enjoyable part of How You Look at Me. The script is fairly well written, but the story itself struggled to invest me as well as it should have. Although the film’s running time went by in a flicker, it felt as if almost nothing had happened, at least not drastically, until the final quarter. But as someone who enjoys the odd “hangout” or “slow” flick, I can find something to like and appreciate in the flesh around the bones.
To explore the music score further (written by Samuel Ford), the layers are fantastic. As a composer, I enjoy listening out for any specific choices in approach to scenes. With Ford’s electronic and ambient score, the film’s key moments are amplified appropriately. Jack Shelbourn’s stunning cinematography is the canvas and Ford’s music the brush strokes, both coming together to create a pleasing piece.
On a technical level, How You Look at Me is smart and eye-grabbing… a visually and audibly entertaining film. But alas, with story themes that feel like a muddy path previously journeyed before, it failed to propel me into the drama of an inexplicable, fractured relationship.
Watch the trailer for How You Look at Me below.