The Beast

Cinema | (15) | 147 minutes |

The year is 2044: artificial intelligence controls all facets of a stoic society as humans routinely “erase” their feelings. Hoping to eliminate pain caused by their past-life romances, Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) continually falls in love with different incarnations of Louis (George MacKay). Set first in Belle Époque-era Paris, Louis is a British man who woos her away from a cold husband, then in early 21st Century Los Angeles, he is a disturbed American bent on delivering violent “retribution.” Will the process allow Gabrielle to fully connect with Louis in the present, or are the two doomed to repeat their previous fates?

Visually audacious director Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, Nocturama) fashions his most accomplished film to date: a sci-fi epic, inspired by Henry James’ turn-of-the-century novella, suffused with mounting dread and a haunting sense of mystery. Punctuated by a career-defining, three-role performance by Seydoux, The Beast poignantly conveys humanity’s struggle against dissociative identity and emotionless existence.

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