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Never Let Me Go (2010)

Keira Knightley , Carey Mulligan , Mark Romanek  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Izzy Meikle-Small, Charlie Rowe
  • Directors: Mark Romanek
  • Writers: Alex Garland, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Producers: Alex Garland, Allon Reich, Andrew Macdonald, Joanne Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Never Let Me Go" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Secrets of Never Let Me Go
  • Mark Romanek's On-Set Photography
  • Tommy's Art
  • National Donor Programme & Hailsham Campaign Graphics
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Academy Award® Nominees Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley, co-star with talented newcomer Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) in this poignant and powerful film. Kathy (Mulligan), Ruth (Knightley) and Tommy (Garfield) are best friends who grow up together at an English boarding school with a chilling secret. When they learn the shocking truth--that they are genetically engineered clones raised to be organ donors--they embrace their fleeting chance to live and love. Based on the acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day), Never Let Me Go is an intriguing exploration of hope and humanity.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    107 of 115 people found the following review helpful
    Kazuo Ishiguro's hauntingly enigmatic novel "Never Let Me Go" is a challenging artistic work that requires its readers to decipher a mysterious story arc that is never fully unveiled in the text. It's complicated to describe, but the brilliance of the work is what it doesn't say--and this ambiguity, when all the pieces finally fall into place, reveal a unique and disturbing alternate reality. It's a difficult piece to conceptualize and adapt to a visual medium, so I was curious to see what director Mark Romanek and writer Alex Garland might bring to the table. Those hoping for a literal translation might, indeed, be disappointed in the film incarnation of "Never Let Me Go" which can't replicate the novel's precise and measured revelations. However, this lovely and thoughtful film does succeed in its own right as a heartbreaking examination on the nature of humanity.

    "Never Let Me Go" does honor Ishiguro's novel in tone, pacing, and mood. Gentle and idyllic, but austere and bleak when necessary, this is a subtle film that requires and rewards patience. The film establishes, from the first frame, that we're embarking on a parallel timeline in which medical science is greatly advanced from our current world. In the British countryside, we meet three youths--Kathy (the film's narrator), Tommy and Ruth--at a tony boarding school named Hailsham. Hailsham students serve a special purpose and their entire existence is lived within the walls of the academy. The three friends form a love triangle of sorts with Kathy and Tommy seeming to be soul mates and Ruth becoming the romantic foil. A treatise on unrequited love, the film follows the kids to young adulthood as they leave the confines of Hailsham at eighteen before fulfilling their final destiny.
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    40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Even More Moving the Second Time January 13, 2011
    "The breakthrough in medical science came in 1952
    Doctors could now cure the previous incurable
    By 1967, life expectancy passed 100 years"

    And so begins Never Let Me Go, a downbeat adaptation of a book I've never had the pleasure of reading by Kazuo Ishiguro. This film is an exercise in understatement; rarely have I seen a film that's so emotional and yet avoids bravado and manages to depict these emotions in such a gentle way. This is no straight-forward drama and there's an unconventional element to the story that I feel would be best to keep secret from the potential viewer. Unfortunately, it's difficult to discuss/critique the film without disclosing that element. With that said, the secret comes out very early into the movie so don't feel that I'm spoiling anything for you.

    Besides a brief opening scene, the film opens in 1978 at a boarding school called Hailsham. While headmistress Miss Emily (Charlotte Rampling) gives her daily announcement to the students, it becomes clear that Hailsham is not the typical boarding school. The health of the students is greatly important and the students' existence is a sheltered one, completely cut off from the world outside the boundaries of the school. Students are at the age where romantic ideals begin to blossom and young Kathy H. takes a liking to a boy named Tommy. Those wondering what the purpose of Hailsham is don't have to wait very long as a disenchanted guardian named Miss Lucy (Sally Hawkins) soon enlightens them that their purpose is to grow up and donate their vital organs before their "short-life" will be completed. As this chapter of the film comes to a close, Kathy watches her friend Ruth and Tommy grow close. These childhood scenes are handled with great sentiment, but also with great austerity.
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    68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars What would we do for more life? October 21, 2010
    First of all, I haven't read the 2005 novel by Kazuo Ishigiro that this film is based on, nor did I know much of anything about it apart from the basics (dystopian English alternate-world story) before seeing the film. So the few problems I mention or areas that I feel the film is deficient in dealing with are wholly a product of my experience with the movie - I suspect that some of these issues might be less problematic in the novel. As you can see from my rating and review, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives.

    Second of all, if you know even less than I did, be prepared for **SPOILERS**

    All that out of the way, what we have here is a story taking place in a roughly contemporary (1978-94) England, a country (and presumably, world) radically changed by medical advances that did not happen in our world. Or...maybe. The most fascinating element of this film to me, and I'm sure the most infuriating to many viewers, is that we never get a really clear picture as to just what the technology is, how things have changed. The focus here is not on technology, on the science fictional aspects, on gadgetry or medicine. We get a few references to cloning, but never any details; we learn fairly quickly that the children we're introduced to at the Hailsham boarding school have a "special" destiny, and the film follows three of them in particular, one of whom, Kathy (Izzy Meikle-Small as a child/Carey Mulligan as an adult) narrates the film from 1994 at around the age of 30.

    Kathy, her companions Tommy (Charlie Rowe/Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Ella Purnell/Keira Knightley) are all being raised in a comfortable, serene - almost idyllic - countryside school to face a very particular and peculiar destiny.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Carey Mulligan entrances in a heartbreaking story
    In Kazuo Ishiguro's exquisite novel, set in the 1990s, England has embarked on a secret program to clone humans for the sole purpose of harvesting their organs for transplant. Read more
    Published 1 day ago by Daniel Cooper
    1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly upsetting story
    This movie is very difficult to watch. I was expecting a love story and got a glimpse of a society that raises children to be organ donors. Very depressing and unsettling.
    Published 13 days ago by Dachzz
    5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the future?
    This is a sad, beautiful, and ultimately heartbreaking story of a group of children brought up and educated in an institution with an agenda they are initially unaware of.
    Published 19 days ago by Annette Radocaj
    3.0 out of 5 stars Not for fans for the book
    I loved the book by Kazuo Ishiguro so I was extremely excited to watch this movie. However, if you loved the book you might be disappointed like I was with how the movie... Read more
    Published 21 days ago by samantha
    1.0 out of 5 stars Dull on top of Boring multiplied by 10
    I Just watched this movie today. I understand the meaning behind it and it makes sense why they filmed it the way they did, but I just think this story was meant to be a book and... Read more
    Published 28 days ago by Kiel M. Fredrickson
    5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. Moving. (Lingering).
    Every element of this film is a work of art: the direction, the acting, the music, the story, the cinematography, everything. Masterful storytelling. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by John Arthur Lee (author of Bound to Eve)
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
    I love this film - it's beautifully done. A strange but perfect mix between science fiction and drama. A must-see for anyone who likes sad, but beautiful, films.
    Published 1 month ago by Matthew V
    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Movie
    I caught it upon cable and was mesmerized then I tried to purchase it on DVD could not find it anywhere... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Sylvia
    4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, But Difficult to Categorize
    The movie opens in 1978 at Halisham, in what appears to be a old English boarding school, run by the stern headmistress Miss Emily (Charlotte Rampling). Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Jill Clardy
    4.0 out of 5 stars Original, thought-provoking and unlikely
    Based on Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, this odd, moody piece is well-acted, attractively-filmed and provocative. Carey Mulligan particularly gives another fine, nuanced performance. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Michael Clark
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