You may recall a year or so ago our very own Yoko traveled to Glasgow to do a set visit for an indie film called GOD HELP THE GIRL. The reason Miss Yoko was hand picked for this particular assignment is because she is our resident music nerd, and it just so happens that the film is directed by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian fame. While Yoko's set report left a very positive impression of the modern musical, I am so very delighted to confirm that Murdoch has indeed delivered a very beautiful and cohesive final product as well.
GOD HELP THE GIRL is the story of Eve, a beautiful but troubled young girl who has been institutionalized for an eating disorder. Though she is not wholly resistant to the therapy she is undergoing, Eve yearns for a creative life outside the confines of the four whitewashed clinical walls she currently calls home.
You see, Eve is a singer/songwriter with an angel voice, and the depth of her talent and charisma is immediately apparent during her initial break out from her confines when she bursts into song and dance throughout the Glasgow cityscape. Her songs and delivery are fun, playful, and in no way resemble the fragile young thing trapped in the hospital. Along the way, Eve eventually finds friends who also share her passion for song, and the resulting relationships make for a lovely musical adventure.
Beautifully shot on 16mm, the film is not just a delightful love letter to musicals, it is a unique and fresh addition that earns its own place in the beloved genre. While some sequences feature full on song and dance, others break the third wall by having Eve sing her retro-style songs straight to the camera. This technique helps draw in the audience and also provides a sense of intimacy that makes the musical scenes work without being even a trifle trite. It doesn't hurt that Emily Browning is simply mesmerizing as Eve. Her sweet voice paired with her astonishing beauty never betray the fact that she is also capable of delivering a nuanced and heartbreaking performance.
GOD HELP THE GIRL is a refreshing take on a classic genre with a look and sound that truly captivates. Amplify is releasing the film later this year, so go check it out when you get the chance.
Until next time,
Aka "Annette Kellerman"