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Short Starts: “Water for Elephants” Star Robert Pattinson in “The Summer House”

Short Starts: "Water for Elephants" Star Robert Pattinson in "The Summer House"

As a shorts fanatic I get very excited about anthology films. These projects, like “Paris, Je T’aime” and “Four Rooms,” are great opportunities for multiple directors to work on the same theme and then bring it all together in a single collection. They don’t happen terribly often these days, probably because they’re hard to market well for the box office, but they’re often successful and always interesting. 2010’s “Love and Distrust,” while not a showpiece of famous directors, stars some pretty famous talent, including Robert Pattinson in the understated drama “The Summer House.”

Set against the moon landing in 1969, the film follows a young English girl (Talulah Riley) as she navigates adolescence on a grand French estate. She seems to have quite the romantic back-story, though it’s almost exclusively implied, and it feels very much like a scene taken from an English society novel. Thankfully we’ve been spared the intricate social politics of that genre, while keeping the boldly stated metaphors (Apollo 11) and darkly handsome, if ethically problematic, gentlemen. Pattinson spends much of then film standing just off screen, hinted at but not introduced directly until the last few minutes (which probably helps his performance). He turns out to be quite the opposite of a gentle romantic paramour, perhaps an attempt to fight type-casting, though I’m not sure how effective that is. The video, after the jump:

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