Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go reduces Kazuo Ishiguro's novel - among the most rightfully acclaimed of the last ten years - into a film so achingly wistful, gorgeous, and true that it's a shame it feels adapted from a short story. A delicate film to discuss but a difficult one to spoil, Never Let Me Go tells a concise and slippery story of resignation that attempts to bridge the gap between what we know of the human experience and the turbulence of actually enduring it. It's been eight years since Romanek's first feature - the calculated and contained thriller One Hour Photo - and the bearded music video auteur is itching to make up for lost time with a sophomore effort that tackles the only subject more abstract and far-reaching than disposable cameras: the human condition.
We're told two things from the start: The parallel universe Never Let Me Go inhabits experienced a vague and vaguely sinister medical breakthrough in the 1960s. Two: The students of Hailsham boarding school are special. As to what exactly those two facts have to do with one another makes for the cinematic anti-mystery of the year.