Never Let Me Go is a luscious-looking oxymoron, a science-fiction nightmare that unfolds in the civilized, painterly manner of a Merchant Ivory stiff-upper-lip tearjerker. Adapted from the 2005 novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and directed by Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), the movie (opening Sept. 15) isn't a period piece, although it often feels like one. It's set in England from the late '70s through the mid-'90s, and it's about three characters we meet as children who, in the initial boarding-school scenes, might be part of some dystopian Harry Potter triangle. Kathy, first played by Izzy Meikle-Small (a real find), has a crush on Tommy (Charlie Rowe), who gets involved with Ruth (Ella Purnell), even though he secretly loves Kathy right back. Nothing too startling there, except that the junior soap opera takes on a shiver of dread when, fairly early on in the film (much earlier, in fact, than in the novel), Miss Lucy (Sally Hawkins), the children's third-year guardian, reveals their true nature. (Spoiler alert: If you don't want it revealed, then please read no further.)
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