Usually, I have my fingers crossed each summer for one really good indie comedy. This year, there seems to be an embarrassment of riches with Late Night already released The Farewell yet to go wide and Brittany Runs a Marathon still to come. However, Yesterday is the one to beat. For my money, it's simply one of the most satisfying moviegoing experiences I've had all year.
Himesh Patel is a great new discovery in the lead as Jack Malik, the only man on earth who remembers the Beatles after a freak power outage. He has the blessing and curse of reintroducing their music to the world as his own. A lot of the fun of the movie comes from the premise of, "How would the Beatles fare in 2019 as newcomers?" The cringe-inducing moment at the end of the trailer has Ed Sheeran talking Malik into changing "Hey Jude" to "Hey Dude.”
Lily James is sweet as Jack's platonic friend and manager who longs to be more. The entire cast is excellent. I'm rooting for Robert Carlyle to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for a surprise scene that is one of my favorites of the summer. Unfortunately, it's a major spoiler so I don’t want to say much about it. It's also a scene that is dividing audiences. However, to me, it is nothing short of magical and a reminder of why I go to the movies, the type of magic you can only experience on the silver screen.
The movie is a love letter to the Beatles with plenty of good music. It's also a feel-good romance. With anything Danny Boyle is involved in, you keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, some moment of terror or violence. It never comes here. Between Rocketman, Yesterday, and the upcoming Blinded by the Light, it’s been a rather rock ‘n’ roll summer at the movies and I, for one, have been enjoying it.
Yesterday will probably fare well at the Independent Spirit Awards. I'd like to see it get an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. If it's still playing near you, I highly recommend it.
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