• Diana DiMuro

High Life Review


Let me start out by saying this movie isn’t for everyone. Having never previously seen a film by director Claire Denis, I may not have been prepared for her first English language film, High Life. Set aboard a small ship floating through deep space, the film feels more concerned with theme and tone than the special effects of your typical sci-fi space movie. If you look to the film’s main character, Monte (played by a post-Twilight Robert Pattinson), you may have more accurate expectations. High Life can feel like it has more in common with a Cronenberg film than, say, Alien. There are however, a few similarities between it and Ridley Scott’s classic. They both have an overall tone of despair, a drab color palette, and a cast of characters that seemingly distrust each other. The crew and passengers aboard our space vessel are all criminals. Think Con Air in space (but not quite).

High Life is a movie told out of context and out of order. It starts with Monte fixing the hull of the ship in full space suit, all the while talking and cooing over an intercom to a baby girl named Willow on the vessel. Who is the baby? Where are the rest of the crew? What the heck is going on? We jump around the timeline during the story - between Monte and baby Willow, Monte pre-baby with the ship’s crew, and later with an aging Monte and te