What would you expect from a space opera directed by Claire Denis and starring Robert Pattinson? Well, everything. High Life does to sci-fi what Denis’ Trouble Every Day did to vampire films: it’s a radical interpretation where the filmmaker subverts tropes and genre while preserving their very essence.
Pattinson is part of a motley crew of convicts sent in a spaceship to seemingly exploit an energy resource from a black hole. But they are the ones exploited as guinea pigs for sexual experiments by their medical officer (Juliette Binoche, in full witch mode). Denis still explores her favourite themes – bodies and outsiders, which are desired and rejected at the same time. Mind-bending and very organic, High Life is a crossover between Solaris and Alien, but without needing any monster. It’s above all a fascinating work on on how to keep one's humanity in the space void.
Also see Masterclass Claire Denis.