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Independent Film Festival Boston Day 1 – The Spectacular Now

Shannon O’Connor ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor-in-Chief

For the past eleven years Boston has hosted what is known as the Independent Film Festival Boston from April 24 to 30. Within that week they screen a plethora of films in five different locations from feature length narratives to documentaries to short films both narrative and documentary style. Beyond the films other festivities include three informational panels that are free and open to the public along with five private after parties.

This year’s 11th annual Independent Film Festival Boston kicked off with the screening of James Ponsoldt’s (Smashed) latest film The Spectacular Now, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January of this year.

The Spectacular Now is a dark, honest and compelling coming of age story, based on the book revolving around the high school life of Sutter Keely (Miles Teller). Sutter is the typical – live in the now, party boy – every high school is bound to be equipped with. However after his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) breaks up with him his lifestyle starts to change as he meets Aimee (Shailene Woodley), a shy and not-so-typical girl next door.

As the relationship between Aimee and Sutter grows we see the characters begin to grow as well, however Sutter has the fascination with living in “the spectacular now.” After a short and unpleasant visit with his estranged father (portrayed brilliantly by Kyle Chandler), Sutter begins to realize what his fascination with living in the now will really do to him.

Miles Teller (Footloose, Rabbit Hole) leads the film with a stunning performance, as he perfectly depicts an adolescent struggling to find his way and purpose in life. By once again demonstrating her fantastic acting chops, Shailene Woodley continues to shed the The Secret Life of an American Teenager image. Woodley shines as Aimee, embodying the character so completely down to her mannerisms and speech, making the character not only likable, but believable.

The Spectacular Now shows that growing up and becoming an adult is scary and difficult, but the alternative of hanging onto your youth and living in the now is much more fearful and destructive than adulthood ever could be.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Check out The Spectacular Now‘s newly release trailer:

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