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Vortex 2022 Movie Review Trailer Online

Director: Gaspar Noé
Writer: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Dario Argento, Françoise Lebrun, Alex Lutz

Resignation to fate is the dominant affect of Gaspar Noé’s Vortex 2022. Other movies about the onset and progression of dementia have rarely been as starkly somber or as full of useless despair as this tale of an elderly couple, played by Italian horror maestro Dario Argento and French actress Françoise Lebrun, whose link is dissolved by illness.

French cinema’s provocateur, Argentine-born filmmaker Gaspar Noé, isn’t afraid to upset his viewers with depictions of graphic sex, violence, or LSD dance parties. So he’s a bit surprised to see that his latest, the suggestively titled Vortex, is a solemn, documentary-like depiction of an elderly couple going through the last stretch of their time on this planet. The days of a leftist Franco-Italian couple in Paris are now mostly empty and hopeless to the point that a merely humdrum moment could become the highlight of the day, offering a quick reminder of the “glory” of the past days. This Noah joint is, in other words, violent and tragic in much less obvious and more insidious ways.

This is intensified not only by Noah’s recent dance with death, but by his own family ties to losing his mind due to his age. A title card at the beginning of Vortex reads “To all those whose brains will decay before their hearts.”

It’s a warm sentiment for a decidedly bleak effort, but one in which the austerity and downward spiral of all the characters involved make Noah’s movie seem less than a worthwhile affair. Vortex is a measured, formally experimental, nearly two-and-a-half-hour portrait of a couple in their final days, shot entirely in a split-screen diptych and starring two industry veterans. Italian giallo director Dario Argento plays a man known only to us as “The Father,” and French actress Françoise Lebrun plays to “The Mother,” evoking more than a few similarities to last year’s Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar-winning drama, The Father.

But in Vortex 2022, the Father is a man whose mind remains sane and sharp well into his old age. He works on the outline of his next book about movies and dreams, titled “Psique”, ventures into an illicit tryst with another woman (an aspect of the character entirely created by Argento), and tends to both his deteriorating wife and his deteriorating heart. . Initially, the once-happy couple is filmed relaxing on the patio of their spacious French apartment, a cavernous space filled almost room to room, from ceiling to floor, with books, movie posters and artwork. They toast to life, that which is a “dream within a dream”, and are then filmed getting into bed together. But when they wake up, the screen has split in two. Split screen is used throughout the rest of the film to emphasize the opposing but overlapping impairments of both the Mother and the Father, each side of the screen following both simultaneously.

Father’s heart condition parallels Mother’s gradually degrading case of Alzheimer’s, robbing her of her memory and her agency as a formerly prosperous psychologist. Lebrun brilliantly embodies the fragile and frightened woman who becomes a prisoner of her own mind; the accidents of her, which can provoke laughter in different circumstances, unable to be perceived as anything other than terrifyingly horrible. It’s terrifying to think of ourselves going through such a state one day and feeling so close to it, so terribly embodied in Lebrun’s staggering, staggering Mother, that Vortex could be seen as much of a horror movie as Noah’s other work. It’s equally chilling to consider having to watch someone we love wither away in real time, becoming a ghost of their former, vibrant self. In this challenging role, the legendary Suspiria director puts on a stunning turn in a rare acting appearance, and his first leading role as an actor.

As Father struggles to keep track of Mother and maintain her quality of life, whether it’s looking for her as she wanders aimlessly through different stores after leaving her house unannounced, or making sure she doesn’t leave the gas stove on and suffocate them to an untimely death: the couple’s adult son, Stéphane, acknowledges that the difficulties of caregiving are not limited to his father. Therefore, in Stéphane’s opinion, the two should give up an assisted-care facility. Naturally, the Father is opposed. There is no need to take care of him when his mind is still sharp enough; not just to take care of himself and his wife, but enough to remain actively involved in the art world. Still, Mother’s condition worsens every day, the passage of time purposely unclear as each new day with the family places them in a darker state than the last.

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