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God Help the Girl

6/10
Comedy . Drama . Music . Musical . Romance
 

Eve is a catastrophe—low on self-esteem but high on fantasy, especially when it comes to music. Over the course of one Glasgow summer, she meets two similarly rootless souls: posh Cass and fastidious James, and together they form a group.

 
Actors: Emily Browning , Olly Alexander , Hannah Murray , Pierre Boulanger , Cora Bissett , Sarah Swire , Mark Radcliffe , Stuart Maconie , Ann Scott-Jones , Josie Long
Directors: Stuart Murdoch
Country: UK
Release: 2014-09-05
More Info:
  • Kimberley Jones

    God Help the Girl is not so perfectly crafted, but the promise – oh, the promise is irresistible.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    No one comes out and says that music is the language of the soul, but no one has to. We see it happening right before our eyes.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Brad Wheeler

    God Help the Girl is about aspirations and goals, musical or otherwise. Murdoch is working some things out here, gracefully on the whole. His own band has toggled between frail sincerity and pop mastery itself over the years. The former is more endearing and original, but it’s not for everyone. Which is how I might describe his film.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    The film's conceit - mopey strangers meet, form a band, and take to the dance halls - has a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney let's-put-on-a-show innocence, and exuberance.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    God Help The Girl is, in other words, a spotty movie — sometimes silly, sometimes dead serious. It is, however, nobly spotty — inconsistent in a way contemporary productions rarely are, its shortcomings the result of an excess of creative energy, rather than a lack thereof.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Barbara VanDenburgh

    It's adorable. It's also very thin. There's a disconcerting literalism to the songs' dramatic representation that chokes the drama.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    It’s an inviting, approachable world that Murdoch creates for us — still a total fantasy, of course, but one with a veneer of plausibility. Get on its wavelength, and you’ll be utterly charmed. Don’t, and you’ll run screaming from the theater.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Serena Donadoni

    Browning captures Eve's weariness and enthusiasm, and her lovely voice and crisp delivery gives Murdoch's labored lyrics a vulnerable immediacy.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Katherine Kilkenny

    God Help the Girl doesn’t quite succeed in convincing the viewer to toss conventional character development out the window, it still has its moments.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    Murdoch’s film is fraught with ambition and aspiration, but a little thin on talent and technique.

    Film.com Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    The gorgeous heartache of songs by the group Belle and Sebastian gives God Help the Girl its dreamy appeal, but thanks to a poky story line it essentially amounts to a series of music videos.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Catherine Bray

    The whole phantasmagorical enterprise is so sweetly confident that it just about gets away with its entirely casual approach to believability.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Ed Frankl

    Even if Murdoch's directorial style is at times off-putting - the dance routines oscillating wildly from charming to naff - it's hard not to be taken in by trips into Glasgow's backstreet gig venues and the type of Victorian splendour seen on screen too rarely.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    While Murdoch exhibits masterful control in a recording studio, he isn’t a natural-born filmmaker. Much of God Help The Girl feels haphazardly stitched together, with pieces missing or placed in the wrong order, as though Murdoch didn’t get all the footage he needed.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    As Marmite-y as Stuart Murdoch's music, you'll find it either winningly charming or irritatingly fey. Either way, its warmth shines through.

    Empire Full Review
  • Xan Brooks

    God Help the Girl comes loose and easy, verging on the slipshod. It's warm and generous, verging on the sentimental; a film that crystallises the best and worst of Belle and Sebastian's songwriting skills.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Peter Keough

    When it comes to writing and directing movies, though, Murdoch has some work to do. “Girl” meanders narratively and with random chronology, some scenes playing like tepid music videos, others as unhelpful efforts at exposition, some as strained drama, and some as the genuine, funny, spontaneous interactions of gifted young people.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    The tone is all over the map, switching from fantastical one moment to naturalistic the next... It all gives God Help the Girl a disconnected, haphazard feel.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Michael Ordona

    The fine cinematography by Giles Nuttgens ("Hallam Foe," "Dom Hemingway") infuses warmth and texture. It conveys the laze of summer and juxtaposes the cold of the hospital with the not-quite-real palette of waking fantasy. However, also like the music, the filmmaking habitually meanders.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    The movie doesn’t quite make it to two hours, but my patience was tried pretty much any point at which the movie went a long stretch without a song.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    Belle and Sebastian fans will be fully sated; everyone else might feel as if they’d consumed a meal consisting entirely of meringue.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Stuart Murdoch clearly knows quite a bit about crafting pop tunes, but the film's consideration of the work of songwriting is totally flippant.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Dennis Harvey

    It will be up to viewers to decide whether God Help the Girl is ingratiatingly naive art, gratingly inept art, or a bit of both.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Rooney

    The wistful pleasures are stretched awfully thin at almost two hours in a film that blurs the line separating self-irony from tiresome self-consciousness.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    A major gaffe, God Help The Girl finds a great artist taking on a huge challenge and stumbling painfully on its ambition almost every step of the way.

    The Playlist Full Review
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  • psychiatric hospital

  • lifeguard

  • aspiring songwriter

  • pop music

  • eating disorder

  • anorexia

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