- Really solid performances by Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson & Oscar Isaac. Portman in particular brings a character that is torn emotionally and in an awkward middle of the road point in her life. She is dealing with an empty void, which she portrays very well. Thompson on the other hand brings a strong subtlety to her character that brings the past pain of her life to where her character is today, which also is portrayed very well.
- Some very strong direction by Alex Garland. Garland’s direction throughout has some strong influences of Kubrick & Tarkovsky. After hearing that Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” was used as a visually reference for the film, you can definitely see it throughout and it works very well. I also can’t go without mentioning the third act of this film. The third act captures the feeling of “2001” like no other. I didn’t think many films could ever get to a conclusion like Kubrick did with “2001: A Space Odyssey”, but Garland comes very close. The third act will not be for everyone, but if your a sci-fi fan it will blow your mind.
- This film is very metaphorical & deals with some complex ideas. Pretty much of all of which work throughout. The film deals with the ideas of trying to stop the inevitability of what’s to come and destroying parts of our lives to actually feel alive. All of which I give major props to Alex Garland’s screenplay.
- Rob Hardy’s cinematography is jaw dropping at multiple points in this film. If you don’t know five scientists go inside a place called “The Shimmer” in the film and it looks very much like a big soap bubble. And the colors that come off when the sunlight hits it are quite remarkable. Also the way Hardy uses color in general for the film is something that will stay in your mind for days.
- The score for this film is just flat out incredible. The way it puts you in a trance in the third act is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. What really helps the score get to another level is the amazing sound design. That pushes the third act to a spectacle. Much props to Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury for their score and the entire sound department.
- There are a couple of character arcs that don’t go through that well, in particular Jennifer Jason Leigh’s characters arc. Which ends a little too on the nose.