Aftersun review: “A blinding debut you won’t forget in a hurry”

It’s hard to overstate the transportive effect of aftersun. That aloe vera scent instantly conjures crystal-clear memories of cold cream slathered onto hot, tender skin. A Proustian rush in a squeezy bottle. Holiday memories distilled. Charlotte Wells’ beguiling debut feature, Aftersun, does a similarly effective job of teleporting you to a resort and a time period so vividly evoked, you’ll swear you’ve been on that all-inclusive to Turkey yourself.

The holidaymakers in question here are (just-turned) 11-year-old Sophie (Frankie Corio), and her father, Calum (Paul Mescal), spending time together on a budget vacation in the late ’90s. The film opens with camcorder footage of Sophie interviewing her pa, and – setting the tone for what’s to follow – what’s unsaid hangs heavily in the air of the no-frills hotel room. 

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