High Life

LetterboxD review link

Juliette Binoche is a force on screen. Give her a **-box, some straps and let her loose. And you get magnetic cinema. There are few other people on earth who can do what she can do.

The sexual politics of this movie – arguably the only interesting reading of the film – are interesting to consider. That desire can imprison, control can be fleeting, the aspirational but ever-thrwarted wish we have to separate sex and reproduction, are all somewhat interestingly explored in space here. However, unlike Alien or even Prometheus other sci-fi films that explore similar territory, I don’t think this film comes away with anything all that interesting to say. Denis introduces an interesting additional constraint: what would a movie about birth look like with a man at the center of it? I think the answer we get is somewhere between “not that interesting” and “sort of missing the point.”

As Manohla Dargis said in her review, this is “more like material for a vision board than a fully realized vision.” Or as some academics like to say, this is more a film to admire than to recommend.