Film review – The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

I accompanied my friend to the cinema this week, armed with some tissues,which she had confidently told me I’d need and she was right. The film was The Fault In Our Stars, based on the number one best selling book by John Green. I’ll start by saying I hadn’t read the book, so went to see the film adaptation with an open mind.

The film centres around the life of Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a 17-year-old girl who is dying of cancer. She keeps herself to herself, in order to limit the emotional damage her death will cause to those around her when it eventually happens. However she is forced to see her life differently when she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) at the cancer support group her mother has made her go to. Augustus is 18-years-old and in remission after losing the lower part of a leg to cancer 18 months earlier. There is an attraction between them immediately and they soon become close friends, who fall in love, bringing joy and a love for life in to each other’s lives.

This film could have been too excessive in sentimentality were it not for the superb acting by the main cast. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are both superb throughout. You cannot help but fall for Augustus yourself, as he breaks down the walls Hazel has around herself, with a cheeky grin, while Shailene is wonderful as Hazel. She is able to convey Hazel’s strengths and fears and her chemistry with Ansel is very powerful. I couldn’t help but be moved by their performances and they are both young stars that I think will have very successful careers.

There are also strong supporting performances from Laura Dern as Hazel’s mother, who tries to stay strong and simply wants the best for her child. Despite the terrible circumstances they face, she views it with as much positivity as she can. I also loved Nat Wolff’s performance as their friend Isaac, who loses his remaining sight to the disease. He plays both the comedic and depressed sides of his character perfectly. Willem Defoe is also great in his small role as the author, turned hermit, whose book is Hazel’s favourite book and which plays such an important role in Hazel and Augustus’s romance.

Despite the deeply sad circumstances in which Hazel and Augustus meet, their story reminds you of the wonders of life and how it is the people in your life, who you love and who are there for you, that can give you the strength to face difficult and painful circumstances. Yes I shed a tear or two during the film, but I think that’s a good thing. If such a moving film hadn’t touched me I think I’d be more worried!

The Fault In Our Stars is in cinemas across the UK now. A link to the trailer is below.


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