Everything Beautiful Is Far Away – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card of Everything Beautiful Is Far Away
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At best, Everything Beautiful Is Far Away is about opening up to the unknown. At worse, it is a 90-minute movie in which not a lot happens.


Director(s) Pete Ohs, Andrea Sisson
Written By Pete Ohs
Date Released June 21, 2017
Genre(s) Adventure
Good If You Like Art House films

Films With Small Casts

Noted Cast
Lernert Joseph Cross
Susan Jillian Mayer
Rola Julia Garner

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Everything Beautiful Is Far Away‘s Plot (Ending on 2nd Page)

A young man, Lernert, with his robot Susan, decides to abandon what likely are dystopian like cities and instead survive out in the desert. He does this for years, occasionally coming across people, but never making new friends. That is until he comes across Rola, someone seemingly new to living in the desert, who nearly dies from eating the wrong thing. Though, at first, she finds Lernert weird, especially because of Susan, she adapts.

However, with weeks in the desert, looking for a special lake, with little food, and a scarcity of water, will Rola’s ambitions lead to their death? A mirage that leads to their doom? Heck, will Susan, jealous of Rola, take out her frustrations on Lernert? You got to watch to find out.

Criticism

Avoiding The Elephant In The Room

Susan (Jillian Mayer) the robot.
Susan (Jillian Mayer)

While it makes sense someone who wants to be alone, yet not lonely, would choose to go into the desert with his robot, what isn’t said is what is going on in the cities. With how Rola talks, it seems people maybe venturing out for water and then when you see the most random stuff in the desert, it makes you wonder what happened out there? Yet, there isn’t enough information to really form proper theories. Thus sidestepping something which could have bolstered this rather mundane movie a bit.

On The Fence

Rola X Lernert

If you try really hard, use up all the optimism you have within you, you could argue there is something appealing about Rola and Lernert. He is a lonely boy, a bit insecure, and she is a girl, almost like a mirage, who comes out of nowhere and helps break down the walls he puts up. How? Well, not by anything over the top but just sticking by him even when he is annoying or disagrees with her. You know, the simple things.

Rola (Julia Garner), Lernert (Joseph Cross), and Susan (Jillian Mayer) sitting down and talking.
Rola (Julia Garner), Lernert (Joseph Cross), and Susan (Jillian Mayer)

However, if you weren’t an optimist, and instead decide to peer at this film for its entertainment factor, these two may seem boring as all hell. I’m talking, background noise during a Sunday afternoon nap. Yet, you have to recognize, this isn’t necessarily a film which seemingly is made to be some commercial blockbuster. It’s very indie, is supposed to be about loneliness and opening up, and is slow because doing so takes time.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive) | Purchase or On (Amazon)

Sometimes when something is called a slow burn it is because it wants you to feel the build in full. It wants you to acknowledge the time it takes for a person to change, to trust, heal, and things of that nature. You get that with this film but the pay off may not feel enough for you. Much less, the journey to the pay off may not feel worth spending more than an hour waiting for something to happen.

Hence the mixed label. While likable, and if you are a fan of those involved, I’m a fan of Julia Garner, you’ll be able to get through it, this movie definitely isn’t for everyone. It lacks panache, the characters are not made to be all that memorable, and it arguably is more about Lernert learning to trust another human being than anything else. A journey which, because Lernert isn’t the most interesting dude you’ll ever meet, can be a bit of a bore to watch at times.


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