How I Live Now

November 4, 2013 0 By Fans
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An American girl sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives finds herself fighting for her survival as the UK turns into a violent military state.

Release Year: 2013

Rating: 6.4/10 (662 voted)

Director: Kevin Macdonald


An American girl sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives finds herself fighting for her survival as the UK turns into a violent military state.

Writers: ,

Love will lead you home.


Official Website:

Official site

Release Date:

Filming Locations: Wales, UK

Technical Specs


User Review


Rating: 10/10

Of all the movies I've seen, this is up there with the best. It's
perfect in its variations of tone, from the lyrical to the grisly, and
paced so that I never failed to be engaged with it. It avoids being
over-elaborate or over-clever.

We are drawn in by comedy. Stroppy American teenager Daisy (Saoirse
Ronan) flies in to stay with her English cousins and so far as she's
concerned, she's landed in Hicksville. They live a carefree, mostly
adult-free existence in a ramshackle farmhouse with animals all over
the place, unwashed crockery and a casual approach to eating. Just what
you want when you've got OCD, food fads and medication.

Determined to sulk in her room, she is eventually drawn out and
succumbs to the warmth of her cousins, 14-year-old Isaac (Tom Holland),
younger sister Piper (Harley Bird) and older brother Edmond (George

But in the background there are rumblings, particularly of a nuclear
bomb which has been detonated in London. In the foreground, Daisy's and
Edmond's hormones are rumbling.

The sex scene, when it comes, is how it should be done: lovely without
being too explicit, too long or salacious.

That's followed by soldiers arriving, guns blazing, to impose martial
law. Boys and girls are split up to be taken to separate camps, but
Edmond and Daisy vow to be reunited.

Daisy's escape is a grim survival scenario in which she has to
practically force-march Piper to exhaustion through a landscape beset
with dangers, particularly for vulnerable females of any age. Who will

The acting? Well, there's acting, good acting and acting so good that
you forget that it's acting, and Ronan's and Bird's acting both come
into this last category. I was totally absorbed in their journey. It's
very, very rare for me to lose my sense of detachment when I'm watching
a film but I did here.

Few people have doubted Ronan's ability since her impressive
performance as the 13-year-old Briony Tallis in Atonement. However,
I've sometimes felt that she has been the victim of a misguided
director (Peter Jackson in The Lovely Bones) or a substandard
screenplay (The Host). I've often wondered when she would get more
material worthy of her talent. Well, boy, has she hit the jackpot this

Director Kevin Macdonald did everything he had to do to get the story
across without any of those irritating "look what a wonderful director
I am" flourishes.

People will inevitably draw comparisons with Meg Rosoff's novel, which
I haven't read, or other films in this "genre". How I detest the
pretentious overuse of that word. This film was enough for me and if
you don't think it measures up to your precious novel or your precious
genre that's your problem, not mine.