The Love Witch Review

The Plot

Lovelorn young witch Elaine (Samantha Robinson) uses spells and potions to bring her everlasting romantic happiness.

The Good

Writer-director Anna Biller brings the years most beautiful film to life in this lovingly created world which offers up a symphony to exploitation cinema of the 60s and 70s. Samantha Robinson `brings a stunningly evocative performance to the screen as the titular Love Witch, Elaine, who moves to a new neighbourhood after becoming widowed from her previous boyfriend, in search of new love. Biller’s script manages to mix a strong female protagonist with the dated ideals of the films that inspired it as Elaine goes through life dreaming of being the perfect housewife for a willing man, only to have her exploits cut short by tragedy each time.

Set upon a backdrop of stunning scenery and cinematography that feels like it’s been plucked from the 1960s, it is hard to remind yourself that this is a modern film. With each and every costume detailed perfectly to bring this strange and wonderfully alluring world to life, The Love Witch feels like a film that could loop on your screen forever and never lose its charm.

The Bad

There really isn’t much to say against the film as a whole, but a couple of blink and you’ll miss them references to a world much more modern than the film originally sets out to portray, can’t go unmentioned. For much of the film, the set design is an utter joy to let wash over you, however, unfortunately things such as modern day cars in the frame can feel slightly jarring. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem had it been able to have been passed off as a simple mistake during filming. But then the idea of two vastly different time periods being mixed together is confirmed once more when a mobile phone appears and is used to further the plot. Had Biller simply kept the tone of the film firmly in the past, The Love Witch could have become an instant classic to be lost in amongst the cinema of a time gone by which clearly inspired it.

The Ugly Truth

Anna Biller has created one of the most stunningly attractive films of recent years which is at times surprising to remember it was made in the 21st century. Unfortunately the illusion becomes shattered a few times with the use of modern technology which ultimately feels incredibly out of place.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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