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Vortex (2021)Vortex (2021)

Vortex (2021)

A haunting ode to love, death, and everything in between

Drama

best
THE VERY BEST

8.6

movie

Belgium, France
French
Challenging, Character-driven, Dark
2021
Gaspar Noé
Alex Lutz, Dario Argento, Françoise Lebrun
142 min

Synopsis

rotten tomatoes
imdb
wikipedia
Lui, a struggling author with a heart condition, and his wife Elle, a retired psychiatrist, find their idyllic life shattered when Elle begins to succumb to the effects of dementia.

Our Take

8.6
The Staff

Vortex, Gaspar Noé’s haunting exploration of death and dementia, begins with a dedication: “to all those whose brains will decompose before their hearts.” The statement sets the heartwrenching tone of the film, which follows an elderly couple—one with dementia and the other with a heart ailment—during their last days together. Noé cleverly depicts all this in a split-screen design, which evokes the fractured pattern of old-age thought. 

Noé’s mother struggled with dementia, and Noé’ himself suffered from a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him, so Vortex is clearly a personal film. But even without knowing this, Vortex feels effortlessly dear and deeply intimate, like it could’ve only been done by a person with a first-hand experience of this tragedy. At once personal and universal, Vortex is a haunting and inventive ode to love, death, and everything in between.

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