Byzantium | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 118 minutes · 2013

Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan play 200-year-old vampires hiding out in an Irish seaside resort town. The more demure of the two (Ronan), who stopped aging in adolescence, enrolls in a local high school and attempts to live a normal life; the more reckless (Arterton) opens a brothel and stakes her place in the local underworld. Though written by Moira Buffini (adapting her play A Vampire Story), this is clearly a personal work for director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview With the Vampire), who touches on several of his perennial themes: the erotic allure of the unknown, the mutability of personal identity, the universal fear at the heart of classic fairy tales. Unfortunately he seems interested in the material only for its subtext; this feels tired as storytelling despite some evocative imagery and typically lush camerawork.

See our full review: <i>Byzantium</i>: A tale written in blood

Byzantium: A tale written in blood

Neil Jordan gives the vampire story a personal spin. »

Director: Neil Jordan
Producer: Stephen Woolley, Alan Moloney, Elizabeth Karlsen, William Johnson and Sam Englebardt
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Jonny Miller, Caleb Jones, Sam Riley, Daniel Mays, Warren Brown, Ruby Snape, Thure Lindhardt, Glenn Doherty, Edyta Budnik and Gabriela Marcinkova

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