The screening room | Poignant award saves ‘Reminiscence’ | Cinema-television

In the opening minutes of Lisa Joy’s “Reminiscence,” a haunted man finds a playing card – the Queen of Hearts – on a soggy street.

This is the first of many allusions the filmmaker makes during this intriguing film, a film that cleverly blends the tropes of film noir with sci-fi conventions to create a particularly poignant feature film, which simultaneously appeals to to our love of cinema and the joy of immersing ourselves in a well-told story.

Robert Mitchum was not available, so Hugh Jackman takes on the role of the doomed man. This is Nick Bannister, an exhausted veteran residing in the near future. Just as we have been warned, the ice caps have melted, the sea level has risen and it is only a matter of time before the world is inundated.

With no future to hope for, citizens look to the past in search of illusory happiness. Bannister and his veterinarian colleague Watts (Thandiwe Newton) run a business that lets you relive any memory they all witness in an immersion pool. Addictive, to say the least.

But that’s nothing compared to the monkey that sits on Nick’s back when he meets Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). Using the excuse that she lost her keys and needs a session to find them, she slips into the life of our hero. It is only a ruse, to which Nick is blind, dazzled by the appearance of the woman.

Love, or something like that, follows, but of course that can’t last. And when Mae goes missing, Nick sets off on a feverish journey to find her, accessing her own memories and those of others to find out exactly who she was and why she left.

The Rabbit Hole Nick Falls is full of shocking revelations, storytelling laces, and more heartache than any man should endure. Along the way, nods to “Laura”, “Vertigo”, “The Manchurian Candidate”, “Blade Runner”, “Dark City”, “Minority Report” and “Inception” are made, Joy acknowledging the debt. which she owes to these revolutionary cinema.

And while this suggests that “Reminiscence” is simply a pastiche of previously explored themes, Joy manages to create something distinctive enough that the film can stand on its own.

She spends a lot of time exploring Mae’s background, revealing the tragic circumstances in her life, allowing her to understand why she does what she does.

Unlike Kathie from Jane Greer from “Out of the Past” or Diane from Jean Simmons from “Angel Face,” wounded women who were seemingly evil for evil, Mae’s motivation is understandable. As a result, she’s much more sympathetic and our emotional investment in her, and by extension Nick, is more palpable.

Jackman delivers his usual dependable performance while Ferguson takes on the role of femme fatale. It takes an actor of her charisma to convince us that a relatively sane man would go to the ends of the earth to save her.

Like many modern films, this is hampered by unnecessary action scenes. But Joy sets the ship right in the final 15 minutes with a gripping conclusion that contains not only mind-boggling revelations, but a genuinely haunting denouement as well.

Ultimately, the movie’s meta-narrative isn’t just a Valentine’s Day for moviegoers, but a cutting-edge, haunting examination of obsessive love.

For DVR alerts, movie recommendations, and movie news, follow Koplinski on Twitter @ckoplinski. His email is [email protected]

For DVR alerts, movie recommendations, and movie news, follow Koplinski on Twitter @ckoplinski. His email is [email protected]

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