If the past few years are any accurate guide, filmmakers are fed up with the ultra-rich and letting it be known through their work. Some of the best movies of the past year were designed to skewer the privileged and ridiculous lifestyles of multimillionaires and billionaires – by Rian Johnson glass onion (a mysterious revelation by wealthy idiots) to Ruben Ostlund triangle of sadness (class war mixed with projectile vomit) to Mark Mylods The menu (a delicious eat-the-rich satire of haute cuisine).
The latest voice to be added to this growing chorus is Brandon Cronenberg… and boy is it very much his voice. Through the writer/director’s first three films, it became clear that he and his father, body horror legend David Cronenberg, share a similar sensibility for the grotesque and the obscene in their films, and that the border-breaking aesthetic is brilliantly employed infinity poolan extreme confrontation with the lawlessness of the rich.
Release date: January 27, 2023
Directed by: Brandon Kronenberg
Written by: Brandon Kronenberg
With: Alexander Skarsgard, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert, Thomas Kretschmann, Amanda Brugel, John Ralston, Caroline Boulton and Jeff Ricketts
No stranger to graphic cinema, Alexander Skarsgård plays James Foster, an author six years away from his first published novel struggling with writer’s block. In this creative drought, he is supported by his publishing heiress wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman), and together they vacation in the fictional country of La Tolqa in hopes that James will find some inspiration. The journey seems like a flop at first, but things take a turn when the protagonist meets Gabi Bauer (Mia Goth), a fan of his book who recognizes him and wants to get to know him better.
The next day, James, Em, Gabi and Gabi’s husband Alban (Jalil Lespert) take an unauthorized trip from the resort they are staying at for an afternoon and night of drinking on the beach. What begins as a fun experience turns horrifying when a fatal accident cuts across the return journey with James at the wheel of a borrowed car. When James is arrested, he learns of the harsh laws in La Tolqa that would sentence him to death for his crime – but he also learns of a unique loophole the country offers that he can exploit… provided he can pay.
Brandon Cronenberg has created a terrifying world that is impossible to look away from.
infinity pool will be enjoyed best if you’re unaware of the awesome sci-fi hook at the end of the first act, but what can be said without spoilers is that it serves as a great vehicle for the film’s central thesis. Along with a hefty dose of soul-corrosion, money offers James an explicit freedom from consequences in La Tolqa, and a journey to see exactly how far down the rabbit hole the idea will take opens doors to hedonistic madness that will never allow you to get off the edge to deviate from your seat.
Cronenberg’s script is endowed with grandiose escalation and pacing, and coupled with the dazzling style, it argues that subtlety is overrated.
Infinity pool goes way over the top, but it fits perfectly with the statement being made.
With spinning cinematography and flashing lights that seemingly cover the entire color spectrum, infinity pool is a literally dizzying cinematic experience that continues to jiggle your brain with an orgy of graphic content en route to its commentary. The film, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival ahead of its wide theatrical release, is sure to have your stomach turning and jaw dropping – with intense and gratuitous depictions of violence and sex – but it all serves to effectively up the ante and its point of view to represent. All the cheekiness is offset by a monstrous frivolity of the characters, sharpening the satire.
Some won’t be able to take it. When you couldn’t handle the overload of bodily fluids triangle of sadness or the blood that flows into it The menuyou will definitely not deal with what infinity pool what a visit to the cinema has to offer. However, if you’ve experienced the extremes of these films with a giddy smile and appreciation for the feelings expressed, Brandon Cronenberg has served up a treat to start the year for you.
Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth both deliver remarkable and daring performances.
Such an endeavor requires bold actors, and Brandon Cronenberg has found a great pairing in Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth: two stars versed in cinematic sex and violence, they make a seductive and toxic couple infinity pool. Their shared chemistry is successfully electrifying and dangerous as Gabi lures James into an unimaginably dark world, and Skarsgård and Goth’s performances grow more and more impressive as the story progresses.
There is an underlying darkness of James that we can see early in the film, and Skarsgård reveals it and cultivates it brilliantly throughout the character’s arc – mostly through action and emotion rather than literal expression. The shifting balance of restraint and excitement within him is captivating, leading to a conclusion that is exactly where the protagonist needs to leave.
Gabi smells like trouble from the get go, too, and it doesn’t take her long to prove that’s read correctly – but Mia Goth’s job once the film is set up is to keep James on a leash and put him in a mysterious and wacky mood new world to lure and her turn is extraordinary. Saying too much would ruin the fun of seeing the performance unfold, but the legion of horror fans that Goth deserves as a laudatory follower in 2022 X and pearl will love every minute of her work here.
Following antiviral and OwnerBrandon Cronenberg has continued his streak of creating visually arresting works that shock and stun infinity pool. Like swimming in the dead of winter, it’s something to be prepared for, but it’s quite an experience once you dive in.