Aftersun features a fading vacation resort, where 11-year-old Sophie treasures rare time together with her loving and idealistic father, Calum (Paul Mescal). As a world of adolescence creeps into view, beyond her eye Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood. Twenty years later, Sophie’s tender recollections of their last holiday become a powerful and heartrending portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t, in Charlotte Wells’ superb and searingly emotional debut film.
Peter Travers calls Aftersun “the best film of the year by a first-time writer-director,” adding “This would be a good time to extol the brilliant, breathtaking, soul-deep performances of Mescal and Corio that represent acting at its truest and finest. Corio was cast after a Facebook call for unknowns. And what a genuine find she is. The empathy that Wells and her actors invest in these characters gives Aftersun the capability to sneak up and floor you. Is the film too small for awards attention? Hardly. Last year, the mesmerizing miniature that was CODA took home the Best Picture Oscar.
One thing is for sure: you won’t be able to get Aftersun out of your head and heart.”