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Vortex (2021). Vortex: Directed by Gaspar Noé. With Dario Argento, Françoise Lebrun, Alex Lutz, Kylian Dheret. The last days of an elderly couple stricken by dementia.

“Well, Iu0026#39;ve been thinking about this one for a week or so. Itu0026#39;s an incredibly special film and, to my knowledge, a very singular one. Iu0026#39;ve never seen such a realistic death-focused movie in my life. Though it has Gaspar Noeu0026#39;s signature bleakness, it is completely unlike everything else heu0026#39;s made, and feels much more humble. Though heu0026#39;s mentioned the correlation in interviews, it feels very clear that his own near-death experience (brain hemorrhaging a couple years back) shifted his heart in a sense. This is easily Noeu0026#39;s most heartfelt film.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOf course, this film is NOT for everyone. Aside from the bleakness of the experience itself, it also runs in what feels like real-time. Even for me, there were segments that were challenging to stay with because they were so slow, but in the end, itu0026#39;s all made with such great intent and vision that I think I might appreciate some of those sluggish scenes even more upon a second viewing. I mean, of COURSE itu0026#39;s slow, you are living in the shoes of an old married couple in their 80u0026#39;s during the last few months of their life!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI donu0026#39;t think I have ever seen a split screen implemented so effectively in a movie. I often found myself fascinated by the fact that when you have two ultra slow sequences occurring in each of the split screens, it adds up to one perfectly u0026quot;normallyu0026quot; paced experience. And, all I will say is that, the split screen seems to take on more and more artistic purpose as the film goes on.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe acting performances from both leads are absolutely astonishing. As a diehard fan of Dario Argentou0026#39;s entire cinematic universe for the last 20 years, I have never seen him act in anything and had no idea what to expect from him in Vortex. He pretty much blew my mind – what he brings to the film is more warm and endearing than anything – in fact it is one of the most touching performances I have seen in years. Of course, this all leads to a high level of effectiveness when it comes time for his character to focus on what is the opposite of such light feelings. It comes as no surprise that the Italian maestro of murder cinema is capable of one of the most believable portrayals of death-centric scenarios when heu0026#39;s placed in front of the camera. This has truly brought the Argento legacy to a whole other level. And then we have the incredible Francoise Lebrun who truly makes the whole movie what it is – her portrayal of dementia is just beyond. It does not feel like you are watching a movie – it truly feels like you are LIVING in the realm of the real thing. It is hard to put into words beyond that. She deserves the highest of accolades.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThere is so much to say about this film but I will leave it at that. Gasparu0026#39;s genius seems to know No(e) bounds. It is definitely some form of masterpiece – the only reason I am giving it 9 instead of 10 is because it is simply not FUN to watch – itu0026#39;s grueling, of course! I hope that Noe has at least a couple more up his sleeve. I will watch his films until he himself is gone! Everything he makes!”


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