Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ex Machina (2015)

IMDb plot summary: A young programmer is selected to participate in a groundbreaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.
Directed by Alex Garland. Starring Domnhall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac, and Sonoya Mizuno.

(Definite spoilers ahead.)

Oh, this was an excellent movie. A smart, interesting thriller with some great acting from Oscar Isaac in particular. On top of that, it's a kind of story that very easily could have been exploitative and heavily objectifying of its women, but instead it tells their story with compassion and grants them tremendous agency to shape their own lives. (Reading the credits at the end, I was particularly happy to see the tiny detail that all the discarded AIs had names. Such a little thing, but I loved that they all got to be named and not just described as "naked AI #1" or something like that.)

The ending surprised me, but it was also very satisfying. Watching Ava claim her humanity and just... leave was somehow exactly what the story needed. Plus, the final 10 minutes or so of the movie have such a gorgeous artfulness to them, with haunting visuals and a beautiful score to create a very moving finale. This is easily one of my favorites of 2015.

4.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Ex Machina > Alice Adams
Ex Machina > Eat Pray Love
Ex Machina > The Holiday
Ex Machina < This Is Spinal Tap
Ex Machina < Equilibrium
Ex Machina < Mighty Aphrodite
Ex Machina < A Little Princess (1995)
Ex Machina < Guardians of the Galaxy
Ex Machina > Amerian Splendor
Ex Machina > Another Woman
Ex Machina < Jean de Florette
Final spot: #294 out of 2408.

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