Don’t miss your chance to catch Paul Mescal and breakout star Frankie Corio in this heartbreakingly nostalgic flick. In Irish cinemas from today – 18 November.
After sun is the feature film debut from writer-director Charlotte Wells, starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio.
The film follows Sophie (Frankie Corio) 20 years after she last saw her father Calum (Paul Mescal) as she reflects on her time on a resort holiday in Turkey. 11-year-old Sophie is slowly creeping into puberty, trying to uncover her sexuality and rarely spending time with her young father, who is often mistaken for her brother.
Calum struggles with life outside of fatherhood, money issues and struggles to ensure his vacation with Sophie is the best it can be. Now Sophie’s memories become a powerful and heartbreaking portrait of her relationship with her father as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t know.
Well-known and highly sought-after Irish actor Paul Mescal captures the struggle of single parents, while newcomer Frankie Corio stuns with her incredibly natural performance and steals the focus throughout the film.
When the film opens in Irish cinemas, viewers will quickly see why After sun is awarded “Film of the Year”.
Here are five reasons Aftersun is worthy of your time, and all the accolades it’s received…
1. Childhood Summer Vacation Nostalgia
If you were lucky enough to go on annual summer vacation as a kid, you’ll get a kick out of it After sun. While the film is set in Turkey, the hotel could be anywhere – as we know, the hotel resorts of your childhood all merge into one. With pool tables and pay-to-play video games, After sun‘s Hotel is the epitome of childhood nostalgia.
The wardrobes of the two characters also travel back in time, reminding the audience of the summer style of the 90s. Chunky runners with shorts and baggy t-shirts make up many of the films’ costumes – a stark reminder that fashion is making a comeback! A personal favorite costume moment was Frankie Corio’s character wearing her bikini under almost every outfit, always ready for a quick dip in the pool.
Finally the video camera. Many a home video was shot with one of those silver recording cameras, whether you wanted to be there or not. Calum follows Sophie with the camera trying to document her time in Turkey and Sophie’s mini testimonial videos bring a sweet nostalgia and reminders of days when they ran away from the camera. The temptation to dig up the home videos after watching them After sun is overwhelming.
2. The father-daughter bond
The focus of this story is the relationship between father and daughter. While the bittersweet knowledge that this holiday will be the last time Sophie sees her father, you can’t deny the warm glow the two’s relationship bestows on you. Sophie’s attempts to cheer her father up on his birthday in the sweetest way – by gathering a crowd to sing him happy birthday – becomes the film’s most adorable moment: a clear sign of their closeness. Even her on-camera testimonials, which called Calum “the best dad,” would warm the coldest of hearts.
Another breathtaking moment comes as Calum teaches his 11-year-old daughter Tai Chi. The giggles and funny looks exchanged between Mescal and Corio as they impersonate their characters demonstrate the skill behind each of these performances by these future superstars.
3. Its simplicity
While this plot has hidden meanings and layers, the film is really paired to let the story shine. There’s no over-the-top dialogue, no deeply difficult-to-dissect scenes, and simple, relatable characters. After sun aims to tell a story with no illusions about a sequel, no dramatic twists – just a simple, heartbreaking story.
Even the emotional scenes are presented in such a simple way – Mescal manages to capture the quiet solitude of mental health issues perfectly, with Frankie Corio portraying the prepubescent curiosity perfectly and incredibly naturally.
This simplicity could very well be the reason After sun is hailed as Feature Film of the Year, and director and writer Charlotte Wells is so well acclaimed.
4. Paul Mescal
The Irish heartthrob best known for his role in the TV adaptation of normal peopleHe completely outdid himself in the role of Calum. Although already a very obvious talent, After sun brings out the most incredible spectacle out of Mescal. Calum, a young father who is obviously lost in life and suffering from mental health problems, is skillfully captured by the young actor despite having no children of his own. Scenes of Mescal collapsing, struggling with life outside of his relationship with his child, grappling with money issues and so on create a remarkably raw and harrowing performance.
Mescal is already being recognized for his performance with nominations for the British Independent Film Awards, Gotham Independent Film Awards and so many more – and this is just the beginning. His portrayal of male mental health issues throughout the film has been noticed by major film connoisseurs and will undoubtedly nominate him for more major awards – and if he’s not, it’s a crime!
5. THIS final shot
Without spoiling the movie, let’s just say the last few moments of After sun saw a majority of premiere-goers and reviewers in tears. While it wasn’t originally the ending to the story, as director Charlotte Wells acknowledged, the ending was hailed as “the best final shot of a movie in years.” You have to watch to understand, but there is no other way to describe the conclusion of this film than absolute perfection. A perfect culmination of plot and plot – the ending wraps an exquisite air of mystery After sunone that will no doubt emotionally destroy the viewer.
After sun is in theaters now – watch the trailer below.