Anton Corbijn is one of the most exciting filmmakers around and has already brought us film like Control, The American, and A Most Wanted Man. This week he is back in the director's chair with new biopic/drama Life.
Life is the first film for Corbijn since the critical success of A Most Wanted Life back in 2014 and it is great to see him back with a very different film project.
The story follows Dennis Stock, a photographer for Life magazine, who is given the assignment to shoot rising star James Dean, before the release of East of Eden. The film chronicles the friendship that develops between the pair as they travel from Los Angeles to New York to Indiana.
For me, Corbijn is a wonderful story tell - Control is a movie that you just have to see if you haven't checked it out already - and he has delivered another wonderful biopic.
We all know James Dean as this iconic movie star who had attitude and swagger and yet, Life paints a very different and very interesting portrait of the young and exciting actor. Life shows Dean as a talented and yet very shy man and it is wonderful to see a very different side to this iconic star.
There is a real intensity to DeHaan's performance as he really gets under the skin and captures the mannerisms of Dean. The movie starts out by showing the James Dean that we all know, but as the actor gets more and more comfortable around Stock, he starts to show off his true self. It really is a captivating performance as DeHaan triumphs in a role where so many others and tried and failed.
Robert Pattinson also gives a terrific performance as photographer Dennis Stock, a man who is given the job of capturing Dean and presenting him to the world. There is a real charm to Pattinson's performance as he goes on a journey with Dean.
Pattinson and DeHaan are two of the most exciting young actors around and the screen really lights up when they share scenes together. The beginning of the film sees both men do a careful dance around one another as they try to size each other up. I love the way their relationship develops and there is a real chemistry and connection between these two actors that makes it all seem incredibly genuine and real.
Corbijn has also done a wonderful job capturing and doing justice to this era as 1950s America really does look wonderful. Just like he did with Control, the director has caught the look, the feel, and the vibe of that time so perfectly.
I have been a fan of Corbijn for some time and am always excited when one of his movies is on the horizon... he has not disappointed with Life. He has delivered a low-key, honest and charming biopic of the friendship between two men, while depicting an iconic actor in a very different life.
For me, Life was an incredibly immersive and intriguing watch with two actors on top form and delivering wonderful performances. If you are a fan of the biopic genre then Life is a movie that you really cannot afford to miss.
Life is out now.