Friday 19 December 2008
This high-concept romance is notable at least for featuring the unhealthiest-looking teenage couple ever to smooch on a screen.
Based on the first of a best-selling series of books, it tells of how Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves to a new school in rain-lashed Washington State and falls in love with a glowering youth named Edward (Robert Pattinson), who's even prettier and paler than she is. At first he tries to keep her at arm's length, until his weird glinty eyes and cold hands tip her the wink: this kid is actually a vampire, but of a friendly, 12A-rated kind who doesn't drink human blood and lives with a family of similarly abstinent vampires. He is tempted to ravish her – he's a teenage boy, after all – and in his struggle to protect her from himself the film becomes a strangely moral study in restraint, where the watchword is romance rather than sex.
Adapted by Melissa Rosenberg, it's veined with wry comedy ("Your mood swings are giving me whiplash") and the grimy Northwestern light lends it an almost seductive atmosphere of dread. It gets a little silly, at times, particularly in the special-effects department, but Stewart and Pattinson are a quite mesmerising pair, and their twitchy, sidelong glances play out a duet of unspoken yearning that might just get under your skin.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Game of Thrones, season 5 episode 4, review: Sansa in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show