Review: A memory both burning and fading in ‘Aftersun’ | Arts & Entertainment

If you were to rank the most difficult adolescence, 11 might not be the first, but it’s certainly at the top. It’s just a horrifying, hilariously awkward moment of still being a kid but with an agonizingly heightened awareness of all those teenage things that are just out of reach. And it’s only a moment, after all, but when you’re in it, when you’re only 11 years old, the days are long, the weeks go by slowly, and the years feel like a lifetime.

In “Aftersun,” writer-director Charlotte Wells invites audiences, at least in memory, to return to that age with Sophie (Frankie Corio), 11, and her father Calum (Paul Mescal), almost 31, on vacation at a resort in of Turkey. Sophie is the one reminiscing here, 20 years later, reaching the age her father entered on this trip, which is fairly standard mid-90s as far as a middle-class vacation goes. But this holiday will acquire exceptional importance because it will be the last Sophie will ever spend with her father.

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