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The Beast (15)

The Beast (15)

★★★★ Bertrand Bonello’s head-spinning Henry James adaptation set in 1910 Paris, 2014 LA and an AI-controlled 2044 casts a dreamlike spell. ~ The Observer.

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Visually audacious director Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, Nocturama) fashions his most accomplished film to date: a sci-fi epic, inspired by Henry James' turn-of-the-century novella, suffused with mounting dread and a haunting sense of mystery.

Punctuated by a career-defining, three-role performance by Léa Seydoux, La Bête poignantly conveys humanity's struggle against dissociative identity and emotionless existence.

The year is 2044: artificial intelligence controls all facets of a stoic society as humans routinely "erase" their feelings.

Hoping to eliminate pain caused by their past-life romances, Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) continually falls in love with different incarnations of Louis (George MacKay).

Set first in Belle Époque-era Paris, Louis is a British man who woos her away from a cold husband, then in early 21st Century Los Angeles, he is a disturbed American bent on delivering violent "retribution."

Will the process allow Gabrielle to fully connect with Louis in the present, or are the two doomed to repeat their previous fates? 

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★★★★★ By putting technology on trial as the chief parasite causing modern malaise, but fusing it with a melodrama about love, Bonello has created a wholly original work that pulses with prescience. ~ Empire.

★★★★★ The Beast is audacious and traumatisingly sexual, maybe Bonello’s best movie yet. It’s rich, strange, with a chilly indifference to your viewing comfort and a tremor of imminent disaster. ~ The Guardian.

★★★★ ~ Irish Independent.

★★★★ ~ Evening Standard.

★★★★ ~ The Independent.

★★★★ ~ The Telegraph.

★★★★ ~ The Scotsman.

★★★★ ~ The Times.

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