Starring: Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Director: Steven Spielberg
A lonely kid called Elliot finds his world turned upside down when he finds and takes home an alien who was accidentally left behind on Earth. At first, he hides the little alien in his closet and makes friends with him, but when the secret gets out, Elliot has to help his new friend find his way back to his own planet.
A bittersweet coming of age story, this film made it’s way into the hearts of children and adults alike, and it’s scenes of a bike flying against the backdrop of the moon and ET’s “phone home” lines have been homaged and parodied in the decades since. It was a film that every child in the 80’s saw, but that also pleased adults. To watch it now is an act of nostalgia, a film about growing up and finding friendship, and you can’t help but see it’s influence in Stranger Things and IT. It also has a very early performance from a 7 year old Drew Barrymore.
It’s a film that works on contrasts. The film has plenty of humour contrasted with moments of sadness that bring even the hardest heart to tears. The innocence of the Elliot and the alien are the opposite of the government who want to study them. Elliot and ET both long to for home, for belonging, but have to go through adventure and separation to find it. It’s a film with a lot of heart, and it knows just when to pull on your heartstrings with wonder or sadness, and just how much humour is needed. It’s a film that’s so well constructed that you won’t notice the film, but be totally caught in the heart of the story. It’s a beautiful film, and one that will leave you with a smile on your face and a tear in your eye.
See It If: you ever felt like you didn’t belong… A classic 80’s coming of age film with plenty of humour and heart.