High Life (2018)

When High Life leaked a couple of weeks ago, many people I follow on Twitter and Letterboxd obviously watched it and they all praised the film and Pattinson's performance. Being a fan of Pattinson — not Twilight Pattinson, but serious movies Pattinson — I checked it out. 

The film follows a space crew consisting of criminals serving death sentences on their mission to finding and extracting a new source of energy from a black hole. The inmates, who thought they were given a second chance, soon learn that they are nothing but the subjects of a human reproduction experiment led by Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche).

While the film opens with quite an interesting premise — a young man (Robert Pattinson) alone on a spaceship with a baby, travelling to a black hole, and making a report in exchange of more life-support — it soon turns into what you read above in the synopsis, a quite absurd and weird story that is original but (unfortunately) poorly executed. It's a story that deals with themes such as redemption, morality, primal needs and human decency and yet, mainly because of the storytelling, it couldn't have been any less compelling to me.

The fact that the characters in High Life are quite one-dimensional, unlikeable and boring doesn't help either. Nor does the fact that we spend so much time with them and yet we know nothing about them, that some side characters have interesting stories that are never explored as they should have and that the villain, Binoche's Dr. Dibs, is bland, nothing but a mad scientist obsessed with sex.

The dialogue is also pretty dreadful but, despite this and every other single flaw in the script, the cast manages to do a pretty good job. Robert Pattinson gives yet another strong performance here, especially in portraying the loving father, Juliette Binoche gives quite an unsettling performance as Dr. Dibs, and Mia Goth gives another good performance here as a free-spirited addict.

A24, Thunderbird Releasing
Thankfully, the acting isn't the only positive aspect in the film as High Life is visually breathtaking — the cinematography is great, especially the shots of space; the set design is very interesting; and the special effects, despite the low budget, are really nice.

Overall though, High Life didn't work for me. The nearly non-existent story was just too boring, and there is some pretty weird/messed up stuff happening, like the incredibly uncomfortable masturbation scene involving Juliette Binoche — it's not The Room sex uncomfortable, it's way worse than that.


  1. I thought the same things.
    Yes, visually it's not bad, but the movie is way too much boring for me too.
    High life, low film.

  2. I've been curious about this one but the reactions have been pretty interesting to see. Still not sure if it's showing anywhere near me.

    1. If there isn’t any you can always find it online 😉