Release Date: October 3rd, 2019
MPA Rating: R (for disturbing sexual and violent content including sexual assault, graphic nudity, and for language)
Runtime: 1 hr 43 min
Written By: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, and Geoff Cox
Directed By: Claire Denis
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Andre Benjamin, and Mia Goth
High Life opens with a scene of Monte (Robert Pattinson) appearing to be alone on a deserted space craft. Soon we discover that he is not alone. Gurgling sounds on the intercom reveal another very young life on the ship as well. Monte’s daughter, Willow (Scarlett Lindsey) is with him. Eventually, we learn more about the two characters and why they are on the ship through flashbacks.
Monte turns out to be an ex-con who was just one of many on the space craft at one time. Him and the other convicts were told they were going into space to find a way to harness energy from black holes. Unfortunately, they were part of a sick experiment that involved fertility in space.
Dibs (Juliette Binoche) overseas the operation and collects semen from all of the men except Monte who refuses to cooperate. She then takes the semen and attempts to impregnate women. Yet, semen is not the only bodily fluid that is experimented with.
Most viewers will likely enjoy High Life and the taboo direction it takes. Pattinson’s performance is one to be remembered, and the directing is compelling. Claire Denis’s vision will pull the viewer in and challenge your beliefs.
It’s a film that unnervingly presents a future that is possible when humans are pushed to the edge of existence. How far are we likely to go in our quest to learn and survive? In High Life, it’s farther then many people will likely enjoy watching. If you are not disturbed by risky and controversial topics, then you will enjoy Denis’s film. On the other hand, the more sensitive you are, the less likely you are to stay through this movie.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars