About the film
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina SamsonovYou Were Never Really Here is a skillfully crafted thriller you won't be able to forget.
Adapted from Jonathan Ames’s short novel, it's written and directed by the formidable Scottish director Lynne Ramsay. Her style, refined in films like “Ratcatcher” (1999), “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (2011), and Morvern Callar (2002) is indelible. There is nothing casual about a Lynne Ramsay film.
The exquisite Joaquin Phoenix stars as Joe, a beaten-down bearded military veteran hitman of sorts makes a living rescuing and returning missing girls. Joe is hired by a politician to rescue his daughter Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), from a paedophile sex slavery ring with just a hammer and an expert knowledge of the lyrics to Charlene’s “Never Been to Me”. And we are thereby introduced to the key ingredients: a troubled man, a missing girl, and an evil syndicate.
The movie’s intense, expressive score, by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, is an adjunct to his lush compositions for “Phantom Thread,” and is a tour de force of rhythm that’s both surreal and thrilling.
You Were Never Really Here is a demanding film, and the sheer brutality places it firmly at the “challenging” end of the scale. If you choose to take the challenge, it is well and truly worth the effort.