I saw Lotus Eaters at the London Film Festival and wasn’t really sure what to expect from this low budget British film written and directed Alexandra McGuinness, but I fancied seeing something that I knew nothing about, besides the fact that it featured the rather attractive folk musician Johnny Flynn.
The film centres around a bunch of young, rich and awful London party types. They sit around all day drowning in the emptiness of their lives and fucking each-other over, basically. It’s shot in black and white, seemingly attempting to be both stylish and edgy but merely emphasises the pretensions it already displays.
I got the feeling we were supposed to like the main character Alice because she didn’t talk as much vacuous shit as her friends but I really did have no sense of empathy towards any of them. The whole film felt as though it was trying very hard to say something about decadence and wasted youth, maybe with aspirations of Evelyn Waugh or F Scott Fitzgerald, but it failed miserably, especially since the plot was messy and all over the place. The Q&A afterwards revealed that McGuinness brought in another writer who added lots of the things which I found grating because her original lacked a real narrative. I actually would have preferred it without the shoe horned in material because then at least the tone would’ve been consistent.
On a slightly more positive note, the one redeeming feature of this film is the soundtrack which really is great. Featuring Anna Calvi, The National and of course Johnny Flynn, it made the viewing experience almost bearable. Mr Flynn really should stick to the music from now on.