Ireland | 2013 | Fiction | English
Run Time: 118 minutes
Film source: IFC Films
Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan returns to the world of the undead, which he visited to great success with Interview with the Vampire in 1994. His latest, Byzantium, plumbs the sexual and psychological effects of vampirism on two ageless-but-young women whose unhappy craving for blood has rendered them unstuck in time and space. Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Oscar-nominated for Atonement) and Clara (rising star Gemma Arterton), by choice or by fate, must either succumb to their condition or risk their lives by seeking a cure. The world of Byzantium (the title refers to the run-down guesthouse in the faded resort town where Eleanor and Clara hole up) is rain spattered and neon-hued, vibrant in its sordidness and reflective of the characters’ razor’s-edge existence. Moody and bleak, yet shimmeringly beautiful, Byzantium is, on the surface, a vampire film, but, deeper down, a meditation on the ways that one’s choices in the past resonate in and shape the present – often with dire consequences.