There is some sincere good performance here, and it is done with confidence. But I couldn’t befriend this movie because of some clichÃ©s of social realism and an artificial and conceptual plot. Nocturnal deserves praise for giving us a third act where so many movies of any kind don’t. But it didn’t sound convincing.
Lauren Coe and Cosmo Jarvis do an amazing job as two protagonists. Laurie is a 17 year old newcomer to her school in a seaside town; she does her best to fit in and is part of the track team. Pete is a painter and decorator in his thirties who works on school addictions; He’s a notorious womanizer and womanizer who hangs out on the athletic field and soon becomes obsessed with Laurie, and she – annoyed by her image of two good shoes – starts flirting with a handsome older dude. Their relationship is progressing, albeit platonically, and it seems in some ways more meaningful than Pete’s one-night stand. Pete is weird and obsessively guilty when Laurie starts to openly suggest sex: has he developed a conscience?
There are some lovely scenes and I loved the “silent disco” sequence in which Pete tries to dance with Laurie in a boyfriend-girlfriend “date” scenario, but eventually explodes in embarrassment and walks out. Other scenes weren’t as strong: The one where the two have anarchic fun in the seaside arcade makes it seem like it’s been done a few times before in movies like this . Coe and Jarvis are very good actors. They sell it hard and the whole movie is technically accomplished, but for me the story was flippant.