Annihilation (2018)

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Alex Garland directs Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson in this cerebral sci-fi adventure about a group of scientists who enter into an alien anomaly. 

Stalker for kids. A very beautiful movie. Everything shimmers in ‘The Shimmer’ like an oil slick on a hologram. The gorgeous cast pull inquisitive yet determined faces as they march through the overgrown fantasy fauna, heavily armed in tight, sweaty olive green vests. Phwoar! The final act is a trippy confluence of HR Giger inspired wombs, dance sequences with Henry Moore invoking doppelgängers and burning crystal trees. In fact, the last forty minutes with its further mysteries, and its dazzling imagery and its ominous threats finally delivered on, salvage an opening hour of damp character work and unambiguous clue dropping. Like Ex Machina, Garland here is a bit too in love with the obscured solution to make the sum itself particularly audience friendly. Portman and Leigh are unstretched by their roles but, as always, never bore. Proper movie stars. Annihilation clearly is a film with hidden depth. These ambiguities slow it down as a casual entertainment but perhaps like Blade Runner, The Shining or The Thing the unanswered puzzles may drag it up into classic status long after Black Panthers and Wonder Women seem played out, dated and old hat. I’m not sure it will be worthy of the longetivity or high status. But the potential is there. And the sequence with the refracted bear is a creepy treat.

7

My Top 10 Natalie Portman Movies

1. Leon: The Professional (1994)
2. Black Swan (2010)
3. Beautiful Girls (1996)
4. Mars Attacks! (1996)
5. Closer (2004)

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6. Vox Lux (2018)

7. Annihilation (2018)
8. Garden State (2004)
9. V for Vendetta (2005)
10. My Blueberry Nights (2007)

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