High Life

This film may qualify as the most unintelligible movie to be released in 2019.

High LifeIgnoring the warning that I should not expect much from Director Claire Denis’ High Life, I decided to personally determine whether this film had any merit. Tragically, it appeared to be written by someone high on LSD.

Quite frankly, I was primarily motivated by the fact that the film starred Robert Pattison and the multi-talented Juliette Binosche. While Ms. Binosche’s career is legendary, Mr. Pattison has taken a creative turn since his role in the Twilight films with memorable performances in Water for Elephants (2011), Remember Me (2010) and Good Time (2017). Additionally, his performance made the lackluster film The Lost City of Z (2016) borderline watchable.

However, neither he nor Ms. Binosche could do anything to save High Life. In summary fashion, the film centers on a spaceship filled with male and female ex-inmates who were previously on death row. Heading for a Black Hole in space, they are forbidden to have sex under the watchful eye of Ms. Binosche, who plays a doctor conducting experiments.

Among its other shortcomings, the film becomes totally convoluted as it jumps from the past to the present. The prisoners on board are nearly all completely unlikeable, though the only two characters you are likely to remember are played by Mia Goth and Ewan Mitchel.

As an example of what you’re eventually in for, Mitchel’s Ettore is eventually stabbed to death by a female astronaut after try to rape with Ms. Goth. Without saying more, you are probably beginning to understand why this film quickly disappeared from the screen after lasting only one week.

As a finishing touch, the movie begins with a lengthy scene where Pattison’s Monte is alone on the spaceship as he took care of a small child who was constantly crying. The film ends with the child appearing as a teenage girl who still accompanies Monte, learning that he is her father. This had to mean something since the two of them were the last survivors on the spacecraft, but I left the theatre without the slightest idea of what this godforsaken film was about!