Friday, May 20, 2022

High Life (2019)

Streaming Service: Showtime
Movie Name/Year: High Life (2018)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Horror
Length: 1h 53min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Alcatraz Films, Andrew Lauren Productions, Arte France Cinéma, BFI Film Fund, Canal+, Ciné+, Madants, Pandora Filmproduktion, Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej, The Apocalypse Films Company, Wild Bunch, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, A24, ADS Service, Against Gravity, Bir Film, Elevation Pictures, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Imagine Filmdistributie Nederland, Interior13 Cine, Maco, Madman Films, Movies Inspired, NOS Audiovisuais, Pandora Film Verleih, Polyfilm Verleih, Russian Report, Spentzos Films, Thunderbird Releasing, Transformer, Ukrainian Film Distribution, Wild Bunch Distribution, Alive Vertrieb und Marketing, Karma Films
Director: Claire Denis
Writers: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, Geoff Cox, Andrew Litvack, Nick Laird
Actors: Agata Buzek, André Benjamin, Claire Tran, Ewan Mitchell, Gloria Obianyo, Juliette Binoche, Lars Eidinger, Mia Goth, Robert Pattinson, Scarlett Lindsey
IMDb Blurb: A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have been struggling to put coherent words together to describe my experience with High Life.
The TL;DR is pretty straightforward: It’s uncomfortable, slow, triggering, brutal, bleak, and boring.
Here’s the thing. High Life was generally well made. The production value, on the whole, was decent. Most of the acting was on point. Robert Pattinson (Queen of the Desert, Waiting for the Barbarians, The Devil All the Time), who I maintain is tragically underrated as an actor, was absolutely fantastic. He gave an epic performance here – especially all things considered. If nothing else, I bought every nuance he was selling.

The plot was out-there… really out there, however. It was a little hard to suspend my disbelief in some instances. I felt I pretty much needed an astrophysics degree to really appreciate some of the story.
The pacing was so slow, that it made a sluggish but violent crawl over my last nerves. It was extremely hard to stay invested in what was going on. I have a confession – this wasn’t my first time to attempt to watch High Life. I had been intrigued by the trailer when we put our April 2019 Top 20 list together. I listed High Life as my #13 entry, while Selina had it at a lofty #5. After it hit a streaming service I had access to, I attempted to watch. I fell asleep. More than once. I gave up and chalked it up to being a victim of my chronic fatigue. Oh, how wrong I was. Regardless, it didn’t matter then because it wasn’t on the schedule. I meant to come back to it eventually so I actually got a little excited it came up for review this month.

It took copious amounts of caffeine and sheer stubborn determination to keep myself watching this whole production.
I was ultimately disappointed.
High Life came across as a situation of ‘inmates running the asylum’ in a tediously long episode of prison rape and babies in space – as an art film. If you think that sounds wild, grotesque, and unpleasant; then High Life may not be the movie for you.
Further, High Life dances on the razor’s edge between Rated R and NC-17. This is absolutely not anything you want to be anywhere near a child while watching. Hell, my husband interrupted me while I was watching to ask me a question and I didn’t even want to have to discuss what I was watching with him.
While the violence within High Life wasn’t egregious and unfounded, given the circumstances within the story, it still wasn’t my cup of tea. My rating is based solely on my personal entertainment factor. Take that for what you will, and watch at your own risk, if you dare.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%
Metascore – 77%
Metacritic User Score – 6.3/10
IMDB Score –5.8/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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