Director: Alexandre Aja
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Main Cast: Mélanie Laurent, Malik Zidi, Laura Boujenah, Eric Herson-Macarel, Mathieu Amalric
Plot: A woman (Mélanie Laurent) wakes up to find herself trapped in a cryogenic chamber with to recollection of how she got there. To make things worse, there’s been a malfunction within the chamber and the oxygen is running out fast.
My Thoughts: Today is a huge day in the UK! Our cinemas have reopened their doors. There’s still not much to see until summer but I’ll be there tonight with a travel mug full of tea! Normal service will resume shortly here with blockbuster reviews aplenty but I have to admit, it’s been a lot of fun having the time to watch smaller releases. I’ll definitely pledge to make more time for them in the future, but until then I’m bringing you a few thoughts on a new French movie on Netflix called Oxygen. Think about that Ryan Reynolds movie Buried (2010), but make it a high-tech sci-fi movie instead!
It’s impossible to talk much about this movie without giving too much away, you’ll just have to trust me when I say it’s well worth a watch. In the words of the great Bong Joon Ho, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”. Of course, you also have the option of Netflix dubbing the audio for you, too. It’s not a dialogue-heavy movie either, so it’s perfect for movie fans wanting to dip their toe into foreign releases.
But anyway, let me tell you what I can, safely. It’s a great mystery, this woman who finds herself trapped has so many questions to answer. For a start, who is she? She’s struggling to recall any memories. What happened to the chamber to cause the damage to the oxygen tank? How is she going to get out? Having some questions answered just leads to more being raised. The chamber comes with an AI by the name of M.I.L.O. who, whilst helpful, can only do so much, and also becomes more of a hindrance in some moments. Just take my word and give it a go!
Best Bit: I…really can’t tell you that. But I’ll tell you something else. All great dramas have those few minutes of comedic respite, and Oxygen does too. You’ll find yourself chuckling at the line “Would you like a sedative?” eventually, I promise!
Worst Bit: This is one of those movies where I wouldn’t mind an ambiguous ending, the final shot didn’t stir much in me to be honest. I also found the first 20 mins or so to be quite slow, but it’s just the tension building and it’s forgivable by the end of the movie.
Fun Trivia: Anne Hathaway was originally attached to the project. She later dropped out and was replaced by Noomi Rapace. After the project was put into turnaround, Mélanie Laurent was cast in the lead role when Alexandre Aja came on board.
My Rating: This was originally a 4 out of 5 panic buttons, but after thinking on it for a few days, it’s a 4 and a half!