Noted cinematic auteur Claire Denis dazzles us with High Life; an entry into the genre that can more then hold its own with some of cinema’s very best.
We meet Monte (Robert Pattinson) on a spaceship sent from earth in the name of scientific research which is inhabited by a crew of dangerous criminals with nothing left to lose. It seems like he’s the only crew member as the ship hurdles through space, but he’s also taking care of a young baby girl born on board. The question is however, what happened to the rest of the crew, and more importantly…when?
High Life is not for the faint of heart or those looking for popcorn laden entertainment in their science fiction as Denis cribs more from the pages of the likes of Kubrick and Tartovsky then she does from the likes of James Cameron. Denis has crafted a yarn that engages you immediately through use of negative space and intense focus on the characters that she is dealing with, not through any loud visual trickery. Pattinson holds down the ensemble with an exceptionally stoic performance of a man on the edge while the likes of Juliette Binoche get to gloriously chew the scenery at every turn.
Claire Denis is simply a filmmaker without boundary which is why High Life is such a glorious piece of science fiction. We certainly don’t have any clue where she’s going, but we are enthralled by the voyage to get there.