Byzantium

Byzantium

Byzantium

Gemma Arterton (Hansel & Gretel) and Saoirse Ronan (The Host) star in this supernatural vampire thriller as a brothel-operating mother-daughter duo on the run from the law, finding shelter in a run-down coastal town. When residents begin to die, the elusive pair's deadly secrets come to light. From the director of The Crying Game and Interview with the Vampire.

Selling her body to make ends meet, the ever-practical Clara (Arterton) soon meets shy and lonely Noel (Daniel May), who provides a roof over their heads in his seedy guesthouse, Byzantium. Clara, always looking towards the future, turns it into a ‘pop-up’ brothel.

Meanwhile Eleanor (Ronan), the eternal schoolgirl, meets Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), a kindred spirit who prompts her to reveal the truth - that she was born in 1804 but is still a teenager, that Clara is her mother yet is only a few years older, and that they must both drink human blood to stay alive. As the residents catch on to the deadly ruse, Eleanor and Clara face the haunting past that finally confronts them.

2012Rating: MA15+, Strong supernatural themes, violence and coarse language113 minsUK, USA, Ireland
DramaFantasyThriller
Director:
Neil Jordan ('The Brave One', 'Breakfast on Pluto', 'The Crying Game', 'Interview with the Vampire')
Writer:
Moira Buffini
Cast:
Saoirse RonanGemma ArtertonWarren BrownBarry CassinDavid HeapRuby SnapeDaniel MaysCaleb Landry Jones

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Byzantium / Reviews

Flicks, Aaron Yap

Flicks, Aaron Yap

While Neil Jordan’s last film, 2009’s beguiling, wholly underrated sea-nymph tale Ondine, stopped short of marking a full-fledged return to the realm of fantastique where he’s notably contributed with The Company of Wolves and Interview with the Vampire, Byzantium is such a return - and his most satisfying and cohesive work in years. One might rush to compare its teenage romance subplot to Twilight, but in truth, the film is closer in its revisionist spirit to Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In.

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Variety

Variety

A lethargic and uninspired take that aims to be something different, but ultimately isn't.

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Total Film

Total Film

A stylish and moody mood piece infused with an intriguing feminist slant.

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Time Out

Time Out

Jordan's poetic sensibilities more than make up for any flaws.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

Again and again, as the story shifts between women, times and moods, Mr. Jordan adds a punctuating flourish ... that exquisitely illustrates the once-upon-a-time mood.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

Arterton's brash performance is arguably a little high-octane yet it balances with Ronan's wounded watchfulness. And Buffini's script has some savoury moments.

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

The appeal is not so much its bite, which could use some refining, but the emotional journey its undead take. In Jordan's hands, the vampires are so very human.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Neil Jordan interviews a whole new set of vampires but draws precious little blood.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

The ideal vampire movie for Twi-hards who've had their hearts broken for the first time and want to move on to a less cosy vision of eternal romance with a side order of addiction.

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A.V. Club

A.V. Club

Jordan, a master of mood, creates an unsettling atmosphere of small-town despair, and the film's sporadic spikes of violence ... are often inventive.

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