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When 17 year old Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves to the tiny town of Forks, Washington, to live with her police-chief father Charlie (Billy Burke), she becomes intrigued by her mysterious fellow-student Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Bella and Edward quickly become caught up in a passionate and unorthodox romance, to the surprise of Bella's best friend Jessica (Anna Kendrick) and to the concern of her old friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Edward is an immortal vampire with supernatural powers and Bella is the soul mate for whom he has waited 90 years. But things become even more complicated when the mortal enemies of the Cullen Family come to town.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's easy to understand how Twilight has become a phenomenon. Superb treatment of Stephenie Meyer's best seller and two compelling lead performances make this Romeo and Juliet vampire saga into an utterly bewitching film. Here is a love story with serious complications to overcome. He is a vampire, albeit a vegetarian one; she is his own personal brand of heroin and is hopelessly in love with him. We feel her yearning and while the story might target teenagers swept up in the torrents of hopeless love, this adaptation reaches far beyond the demographic and tugs at the imagination and heartstrings of all ages.

Like Kristen Stewart's 17 year old Bella, as she settles into her new school in the small community of Forks, we become fascinated by the striking good looks and charisma of Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen. They are seated together in biology class (natch) and Bella cannot avoid his brooding eyes and piercing stare. We are in her psyche from the very beginning as her fascination grows. As luck would have it, she is as pale as he is; they look good together. There's an incident in the parking lot when he saves her life and soon she discovers his eyes change colour, he hears what people are thinking, avoids the sunlight and doesn't eat (regular fare that is) or sleep at night. Director Catherine Hardwicke handles the revelations with restraint and we make all our discoveries through Bella's infatuated and impressionable eyes. Edward's demonstration of his skills as he leaps, flies and shimmies up massive pine trees with Bella on his back are as thrilling as Lois Lane's first joyride with Superman. Then there is the anticipation of their first kiss and the ramifications.

Humour is nicely woven into the arc of the love story. There are some great lines 'Let's not play with our food'; 'I'm on a special diet'; 'Your mood swings give me whiplash'; 'How long have you been 17? A while'. When Bella and Edward leave on their first date, her father (Billy Burke) not so subtly asks 'Still got that pepper spray?' I loved the scene when Bella is invited to Edward's place to meet his (pale) folks who are using the kitchen for the first time - in her honour. 'Here comes the human...'

All the performances are beautifully judged but it is Stewart and Pattinson whose soulful energies haunt throughout. Pattinson is guaranteed to skyrocket into a heartthrob of vast proportions and we are now left to wait breathlessly for the first sequel.

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TWILIGHT (2008) (M)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Edi Gathegi, Cam Gigandet, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli

PRODUCER: Wyck Godfrey, Greg Mooradian, Mark Morgan, Karen Rosenfelt

DIRECTOR: Catherine Hardwicke

SCRIPT: Melissa Rosenberg (novel by Stephenie Meyer)


EDITOR: Nancy Richardson

MUSIC: Cater Burwell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Christopher Brown, Ian Phillips

RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 11, 2008

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