Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut is an idiosyncratic coming-of-age drama about a teenage pupil who is trying to cope with the trials of school and domestic life while also discovering love. At home, 15-year-old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) has to deal with his parents Jill and Lloyd’s (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) troubled marriage, which comes under further threat with the arrival of her ex, Graham (Paddy Considine), a narcissistic New Age guru.
Meanwhile, at school, Oliver falls for his classmate Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige). Their chemistry, and the ups and downs of their blossoming adolescent romance, is imaginatively realised, as the hormonally-driven Oliver makes ambitious plans to lose his virginity. Set in an unspecified but recent decade, and based on Joe Dunthorne’s novel of the same name, the film richly conveys the complexities of growing up without pandering to nostalgia or comic exaggeration, instead producing a darkly different comedy-drama.
Submarine – Saturday/Sunday at 02.10am on Film4.