Restless (PG)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper

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The Independent Culture

The downward curve of Gus Van Sant's career continues with this awful slice of morbid whimsy.

Annabel, a young woman with a terminal illness (Mia Wasikowska, the prettiest cancer victim since Rachel Weisz in The Fountain) meets a funeral-haunting dropout, Enoch (Henry Hopper, distractingly like his late father Dennis) and teaches him how to live better. Get past that and you still have the problem of Enoch's best friend, a Japanese youth (Ryo Kase) who's... the ghost of a kamikaze fighter pilot. I'm not making this up. Whenever the hopeless script dries up, which is quite often, Van Sant grouts the gaps with the wimpiest indie music known to man. Hopper and Wasikowska, elfin of hair and shy of gaze, make a neat visual rhyme as a pair, but they look more like Vogue models than people struggling in mortality's shadow.