January 18, 2018 | Rome, Italy | °C
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Biopics

Christine

Antonio Campos' take on the Christine Chubbock suicide is all about the stunning Rebecca Hall.

Drama

Mother!

Darren Aronofsky's latest concoction can feel like Rosemary's Baby meets Apocalypse Now.

Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" gets fine work from Soarise Ronan, but ultimately flubs the script.

Rome Adventure

Delmer Daves' 1962 film, while no "Roman Holiday" or "La Dolce Vita," possesses its own small pleasures.

Zodiac

A decade later David Fincher's serial killer film still stands tall as a study in administrative futility.

Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson's dives into the British fashion world of the 1950s, and creates an difficult romance.

American Made

Tom Cruise is in top form in Doug Liman's sly take on the life and times of one Barry Seal.

Horror

It Comes at Night

Trey Edward Shults' low budget thriller links a killer plague with human mistrust and fear wins out.

Thrillers

Double Indemnity

Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are gifted actors but they can't dance the sizzle.

Science Fiction

Alien: Covenant

Michael Fassbender steals the show (twice over) in director Ridley Scott's latest "Alien" prequel.




Date: 2017
Directed by: Keir Burrows
Starring: Yaiza Figueroa, Tom Barber-Duffy, Philippa Carson

Anti Matter

Ana Burrows (Puerto Rican actress Yaiza Figueroa) is a Hispanic-American chemist working on PhD experiments at Oxford University when she stumbles on an aberration her British colleagues Nate and Liv think can be engineered to teleport humans through the time-space continuum, aka a worm hole. Riches loom. "We're going to change the world," says Liv. The troika works secretly (a cat makes the trip), but the university gets wind, as do animal rights activists, forcing a speedup. Ana becomes the first human test subject. In she goes and out she's beamed, and so it begins.

British writer-director Keir Burrows' clever but never-quite-thrilling film hinges on a single conceit: can body be divided from soul, literally disembodied, and if so how does exactly does such a "soul" behave in so-called real life? Post-experiment Anna is dazed, confused, suffers from insomnia, memory loss, paranoia, eventually suspecting her cohorts have tinkered with her essence. But which essence would that be? The Ana that stepped into the beam vacuum or the Anna that emerged.

The answer is intriguing, yes, but it doesn't make up for an hour-long midsection stuck on Ana's jagged bearings.

This is a story Burrows' fellow Englishman Charlie Brooker might have made into a fine hour-long episode of his acclaimed "Black Mirror" series. It begs a number of smart questions but lacks the substance (and screenplay) needed to give them a quantum of wonder. So, does the soul have weight? Apparently it does, but never for long.

Reviewed by: Marcia Yarrow
Day and Boarding International High School in the Heart of Rome

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