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High Life

At the beginning of the film, Monte (Robert Pattinson) is outside a space station, working, and talking to baby Willow, who is inside watching and listening to him through a control panel screen. There are rich, brilliant shots of a garden.  We don’t know why they are there or if there is anyone else around, but we do know that there is a special bond between the two of them. I won’t say any more about the film, because one of its crowning achievements is how it takes care in revealing the true story of what is happening while moving back and forth between past, present, and future. This is a very unique film for science fiction lovers; I think it is great science fiction in that the director tries to stay close to the true science as possible while observing it through a thoughtful, philosophical lens. I was reminded of the film Arrival in this regard. I also was reminded of 2001: A Space Odyssey in how the film captures being in space. I also thought about the Colombian film from earlier this year, Monos, in its questions about human nature. While not perfect, and in some places, I thought the dialog a bit strange, I enjoyed the thoughtfulness of the film. I also loved the development of the story about the bond between Monte and Willow; this was a particularly beautiful part of the storyline. Thumbs up from me for a film that provides another recent example of the range of Robert Pattinson’s abilities (he is brilliant in The Lighthouse). I remember passing him and Kristen Stewart off in the Twilight movie, but both have established themselves as actors who consistently turn out magnificent work in very unusual films. (2019; 4 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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