I saw this one at this year’s NZIFF in Wellington. Directed by Claire Denis, High Life is about a group of prisoners who are used as guinea pigs in sexual experiments by an evil nurse played by Juliette Binoche on board a space mission.
I don’t normally speak in such plain terms about the plot of a movie – but there you have it. That about sums it up.
Juliette Binoche – who is normally one of the most highly watchable and incredible actresses on the planet, is severely squandered here.
This is about as one dimensional a movie as you can possibly imagine. Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame, is the main protagonist in this film and does it no favours with his wooden, emotionless acting. All the while, the plot remains completely non-existent.
Why is there a need for sexual experimentation in space? Why is there a garden on the space ship? What did all of the prisoners do to get onto the ship in the first place and what are their individual stories? How does the IVF inspired seeding of the prisoners actually work?
We never find out. Nothing that adds legitimacy to the story is ever explained and no detail is provided about any of the characters in the story. And therefore, I couldn’t force myself to give a shit about anything that happened in this movie, no matter how hard I tried. Perhaps if I was on something, it would have been more amusing.
Roger Ebert rated this film really highly. He must have been on some pretty mean space cookies to get to that point.