Assessment: Thought-provoking sci-fi drama Bliss works on a number of ranges

Screenshot from Bliss trailer

Enlarge / Greg (Owen Wilson) and Isabel (Salma Hayek) discover themselves shifting between a phenomenal and an “ugly” world—however which is actual, and which is the simulation? (credit score: YouTube/Amazon)

A depressed man finds himself questioning the truth of his existence when he meets a free-spirited lady who insists he is inhabiting a simulation in Bliss, a brand new movie from director Mike Cahill that stars Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek. Positive, it appears like an indie riff on The Matrix, and there are a number of shared parts, however Bliss is markedly completely different in theme and tone, and it is extremely a lot Cahill’s distinctive imaginative and prescient.

(Main spoilers beneath the gallery. We’ll provide you with a heads up after we get there.)

As we have reported beforehand, Cahill additionally directed the 2011 indie sci-fi movie One other Earth—his first function—which acquired a standing ovation at its premiere and gained the Alfred P. Sloan Prize on the 2011 Sundance Movie Pageant. Cahill’s 2014 followup function, I Origins, additionally snagged the Sloan Prize; the truth is, he is the one director to have twice gained the award, so he is acquired some critical indie sci-fi movie road cred.

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Owen Wilson should select between actual and fantasy worlds in Bliss trailer

Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek star within the forthcoming science fiction movie Bliss.

Owen Wilson (Shanghai Midday, Zoolander) performs a person who finds himself flitting between two worlds, one among which is supposedly a simulation, in Bliss, a brand new science fiction movie coming to Amazon Prime subsequent month that co-stars Salma Hayek (Desperado, Frida). Certain, the essential idea sounds a bit like a ripoff of The Matrix with a splash of Solaris, however Mike Cahill is the director, which bodes nicely for Bliss being a more energizing tackle a well-known premise.

Cahill, you see, additionally directed the 2011 indie sci-fi movie, One other Earth—his first function—which acquired a standing ovation at its premiere and gained the Alfred P. Sloan Prize on the 2011 Sundance Movie Competition. It was additionally among the many high 10 indie movies of the 12 months chosen by the Nationwide Board of Assessment Awards. Cahill’s 2014 followup function, I Origins, additionally snagged the Sloan Prize; Cahill is the one director to have twice gained the award. Briefly, he is acquired some severe indie sci-fi movie road cred.

Whoa.

The plot of One other Earth centered on the invention of a mirror Earth planet, the place everybody has a doppelgänger. Clearly, Cahill is interested by exploring themes of duality, as a result of he is returned to that wealthy vein for Bliss (to not be confused with the 2019 Implausible Fest collection of the identical title.) Per the official premise: “An unfulfilled man (Wilson) and a mysterious girl (Hayek) consider they’re residing in a simulated actuality, however when their newfound ‘Bliss’ world begins to bleed into the ‘ugly’ world, they have to determine what’s actual and the place they really belong.”

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