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Film Guide: Damon Smith gives his verdict on The Fault In Our Stars

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 25, 2014

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort In The Fault In Our Stars.

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Damon Smith gives his verdict on this week's big cinema release, The Fault In Our Stars.

ONLY a frozen heart could be unmoved as E.T. bids farewell to Elliot, Bambi cries forlornly in the forest for his fallen mother or Carl falls in love with Ellie in the opening sequence to Pixar's Up.

The Fault In Our Stars will offer a stern test to the waterproof mascara of every teenager who fell in love with John Green's best-selling novel.

Josh Boone's polished adaptation deftly plucks heartstrings to the point that a trickle of saltwater tears threatens to become an unstoppable torrent.

One tissue simply does not suffice as scriptwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber navigate the tricky topic of terminal illness with wry humour and sensitivity.

The film is blessed with a tour-de-force central performance from Shailene Woodley as a young cancer patient, who experiences the exquisite agony of first love just when it seems she has given up on life.

The 22-year-old Californian actress doesn't hit a single false emotional note as her protagonist wrestles with guilt and mortality, catalysing smouldering screen chemistry with co-star Ansel Elgort.

An experimental drug trial has halted the spread of the disease but her character, Hazel Grace Lancaster, is resigned to her grim fate.

"Depression's not a side effect of cancer," she explains in voiceover.

"It's a side effect of dying, which is what's happening to me."

Director Boone makes a couple of missteps but, once our tear ducts start leaking, we forgive him and the script an occasional faux pas.

RATING: 7.5/10


SHOWING AT: Showcase, Cinema De Lux and Odeon, Derby; Scala Ilkeston and Cineworld, Burton.

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