I haven't seen sci-fi (TRUE sci-fi) this clever anywhere near a movie in a long time. It's set in the very near future and about plausible tech, so no spaceships, fights, or superheroes (NOT sci-fi), but yes, a gun (sigh). The emotional drama is high, as it is for finely crafted sci-fi. But it's not melodramatic in the least and has a fine cast, including the late Anton Yelchin, who died at 27, in a tragic auto accident, after bursting onto the scene with all the potential anyone could want. This may be my favorite Julia Ormond performance. She is no longer an ingenue, but still beautiful, and without the youthful baggage, she is free to act her a** off, and does so here. Pitch perfect. What can I say about 7-time Emmy best supporting actor nominee (3-time winner) Peter Dinklage that hasn't been said? Not much, but I'll try. He is such a charismatic actor and is always effective and engaging, with facial musculature that rivals Jim Carey's. Take your Ryan Goslings and over-exposed Matt Damon. This movie is testament to why he has top billing in Game of Thrones. This film should have had a theatrical release, with heavy promotion, instead of the mediocre dramas and performances that are the norm in recent years. Hollywood seems desperate for Oscar nominees and winners, yet Dinklage has never been nominated for one. This in spite of winning every other award on the planet.
The movie: I write so much about the cast because they make up for any minor issues in the film and lack of budget. The plot is very clever, and although people say it reminds them of other "memory" films (it reminds me most of Brainstorm (see it!)), this film has a very different twist and one I didn't guess before the reveal. Even though it's not a perfect film or highly polished (it's an Indie movie, after all), I think it will stick with me for a long time and will be one I watch several times. It's lush in the performances and characters (although Dinklage's character is not revealed until the end, for plot purposes, although I feel like I knew him due to the wisely crafted scenes and "hobbies"). The direction and editing are competent. The script has a few clunkers in the lines, but the cast minimizes them, and the plot and characterizations more than make up for the extraneous lines. All in all, a wonderful surprise for a Friday night!