Rent High Life (2018)

2.5 of 5 from 630 ratings
1h 53min
Rent High Life Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
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Synopsis:
Claire Denis' first English-language feature sees a group of convicts assigned to a difficult space mission with the belief they will be freed if they are successful. The film follows Monte (Robert Pattinson), one of the convicts aboard the mission a few years after its launch as he raises his daughter in complete isolation on the empty spacecraft as it heads towards it's final destination...
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , Scarlett Lindsey, , , Juliette Picollot, Mikolaj Gruss, , Mikolaj Zeman, Ruslan Astraszewski, Magda Piotrowska, Dawid Gluchowski, Lukasz Osik
Directors:
Producers:
Laurence Clerc, Oliver Dungey, Christoph Friedel, D.J. Gugenheim, Andrew Lauren, Klaudia Smieja, Claudia Steffen, Olivier Thery Lapiney
Writers:
Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, Geoff Cox, Andrew Litvack, Nick Laird
Studio:
Thunderbird Releasing
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
BBFC:
Release Date:
09/09/2019
Run Time:
113 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • BFI Masterclass with Claire Denis
  • Q&A with Claire Denis and Mia Goth
BBFC:
Release Date:
09/09/2019
Run Time:
113 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • BFI Masterclass with Claire Denis
  • Q&A with Claire Denis and Mia Goth

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Reviews (21) of High Life

Portentous and hollow - High Life review by JB

Spoiler Alert
02/10/2019

For me, the films of Claire Denis tend to fall short of the intellectual heft to which they obviously aspire, and I found this one especially weak - I think the New Yorker review hits the nail on the head: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/high-life-reviewed-claire-deniss-disappointing-journey-into-space. But the two previous one-star reviews are peculiarly inaccurate. Yes, the baby is central to the opening twenty minutes. But she cries for ninety seconds, in total. Literally, ninety seconds.

6 out of 8 members found this review helpful.

A Thought Provoking Film - High Life review by MAT

Spoiler Alert
31/10/2019

I like to mix and match the films I hire, a comedy here and an action adventure there, but also the occasional wild card like this one.

And I enjoyed it. It is well made, has good acting and has a believable setting and premise.

I was almost put off by the bad reviews but as I quite like Robert Pattinson decided to add it to my list in any case and I am so glad I did as the story is an intriguing one of how humans treat humans and how they in turn are treated affects how they treat others - if that makes sense.

The isolation is key, hence the setting, and the screaming baby so many complain about is not actually that bad nor does it go on that long, but in any case is important to the plot even if that is not obvious from its positioning right at the beginning of the movie.

So perhaps not a movie for the faint hearted, what with an agitated baby, a couple of rapes and bit of masturbation, it is not a disturbing film because of that and instead is an interesting study of the human condition, which of course is always disturbing.

I therefore recommend this film to anyone who wants to see something a bit different.

5 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

Silent Running 2 - High Life review by SC

Spoiler Alert
30/10/2019

I found the film thought provoking and captivating. It's the antithesis of an Interstellar or similar.

One things for sure; you won't see Juliette Binoche in the same light again!

4 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

Spoiler Alert : The Ending. - High Life review by BG

Spoiler Alert
05/12/2019

Don't read this if you haven't seen the film yet. I think the ending works on several different levels. The lone astronaut travelling through space is hallucinating might be an interpretation, but not one that I would share. When he and his teenage daughter enter "The Crocodile's Eye" I don't think will have the same effect as the previous crew member who perished horribly going through the black hole. It's possible that the ending could be pessimistic, but I would like to think not. If it means their death, then the gradual bright whiteness might be symbolic of a transition to a Heavenly status. I prefer the theory that they will be travelling into another dimension, similar to the lone astronaut in 2001:A Space Odyssey who went through the Star Gate and experienced a cosmic revelation. But of course it's down to the viewer's own interpretation.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

High Life review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

I can recall being mesmerized the first time I saw video footage from inside the International Space Station. It looked so astounding not so much because the zero-g gravity looked fun but that there was a cozy and quiet nature to the cramped space. Plenty of science fiction in recent years has taken note of how such quiet allows for more human nature to be explored in a contemplative nature. High Life sticks out as another example while also taking sharper focus on the sexual and violent.

Told in a non-linear fashion, we’re introduced to a spaceship circling around a black hole with prisoners onboard for an experiment in breeding. Prisoners are given chores while scientists formulate the genes for the best specimen. This would initially sound like the setup for a baby to transform into a blood-sucking alien but this is where the non-linear storytelling assures us nothing so fantastical will occur (thank goodness). We’re introduced early on to Monte (Robert Pattinson) as the quiet and stressed father of the child Willow. With nobody else on board, Monte is responsible for both the health of the child and the safety of the ship. We also learn that something happened to everyone else.

The events that unfold are striking in how slowly they build up to something terrifying. During the time with the prisoners, we learn of how hopelessness soon wash over them with emptiness for the future. While tending to the ship’s garden, Monte speaks with one of the other subjects about missing life on Earth. The prisoner mentions that he has a son on Earth and hopes he’s doing well. Monte coldly informs him about the passage of time out in space, that his son could either be an adult or dead by now. The prisoner, still content, speaks about how time ceases to be a thing you think about in space. And so does life, eventually.

What follows is a dark contemplation on human life and the future surrounding it. As the experiment continues, things go from bad to worse. Prisoners start becoming violent and rape soon becomes a component of being pent up and aggravated. Yet these moments are offset when we skip to future and take in the more calming and weary moments of Monte attending to Willow. He bathes her, keeps her fed, fixes her dolls, and even tries to keep her calm while working on the station. There’s plenty of affectionate moments where we see the two of them just sleeping together, a brief bit of relaxation and escape from the stress of their confined world.

Pattinson’s performance is exceptional here. He always feels as though he’s taken in the environment in the clinical way he responds towards while also quietly thinking about how hard the situation is on others. There’s a deep sadness within his eyes about trying to keep everything running smoothly when everything seems to fail around him. Lights go out, tools are lost to space, crew members betray him, and conditions grow worse. There’s also a darker past to Monte himself that we only see brief glimpses of in his awkward walk towards humanity’s future.

Even with some vibrant sequences of circling a black hole, High Life is the perfect kind of unsettling science fiction. It’s unapologetically vicious in its portrayal of mankind's dark side when survival becomes less human within the box of procreation both cold and foul. The film itself offers no easy compromise about the next step. Only to not be afraid as long as you have someone, anyone in the cold darkness of space. There’s a philosophy quote that most of mankind’s problems stem from the inability of one man to sit quietly alone in a room. High Life showcases just how far that quiet man can in a station of maniacs and asks if that nature can carry on to the next generation.

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