The Substance

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Have you ever dreamt of a better version of yourself You, only better in every way. You should try this new product, it’s called The Substance. It changed my life. With the Substance, you can generate another you: younger, more beautiful, more perfect. You just have to share time – one week for one, one week for the other. A perfect balance of seven days each… Easy right? If you respect the balance…what could possibly go wrong? (Cannes Film Festival)

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Recenzje (7)

MrHlad 

wszystkie recenzje użytkownika

angielski Someday when I'm explaining to someone what "nice but shitty" means, I'm going to put this movie on. Or at least half of it, so they don't have to watch it for those excruciating two and a half hours. Coralie Fargeat had already disappointed me a lot with her previous film Revenge, but the two films have a lot in common. They look beautiful, there's imaginative play with colour, and in this case there's even some pretty stylish references to Kubrick, Cronenberg or Carpenter, the slow motion shots of TV performances are more than effective and damn sexy, but underneath all the glitz there's a lot of nothing. The Substance is a film that would like to open up interesting themes like the inability to age, the cult of youth in show business, and it also tackles the price of fame and how much anyone is willing to pay for it. But it does all this in a completely banal way that surprises no one and takes an insufferably long time to do so. After about twenty minutes I had already made a list in my head that The Substance will follow until the very end. And just kept ticking it off. Realistically, underneath the audiovisual audacity is a shallow, idealess show full of stupid characters making even stupider decisions and pretending to be surprised by the consequences. It's tiresome to watch, and behind all the pretty pictures, the tastelessness (which isn't so hellish after all), the nudity and the shots of sexy asses in spandex, there's just a perfumed nothingness ()

J*A*S*M 

wszystkie recenzje użytkownika

angielski A cautionary tale about the fact that rules are meant to be followed; especially when it comes to a miracle drug that you are about to inject into your body. At first, I was a bit miffed that I didn't detect an effort on the director's part to build atmosphere and try to scare the viewer, instead, she unleashes "just" an entertaining straightforward satire. But once the inner psychological struggle between the heroine's lust and rational will starts to manifest itself physically (I vividly remembered my attempts to quit smoking), The Substance takes on a crazy edge. There are several times when you think that this film will probably end soon, because it has already reached a point where other horror films only get to the final scene... but then Coralie Fargeat always injects another shot of body horror gunk into the film's veins and takes the ride up another level. This woman's got balls. I'm a little surprised it got the screenplay award at Cannes, because it kind of does what it wants in the finale, the rules of the fictional world are only loosely outlined; I would have expected more success with midnight screenings than with critics, but obviously miracles do happen sometimes. The Substance probably won't be my favourite horror film of the season at the end of the year, I always give preference to serious horror and dread in that regard, but at the same time it has to be said that few films have INSTANT CLASSIC written all over them in such big letters. ()

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Goldbeater 

wszystkie recenzje użytkownika

angielski I was not too impressed with Coralie Fargeat's previous effort, a revenge movie with a lot of nonsense, although it showed that this French director can impress with her frenetic style and imaginative imagery, but it lacked - well, how else to put it – substance. But The Substance does have plenty of it! What's admirable is that although there's a very simple and straightforward plot practically worthy of an episode of The Twilight Zone, stretching it out to nearly two and a half hours somehow works, and has an incredible pull to boot. It's a compilation of many inspirations: “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, films like Death Becomes Her, Sunset Blvd. and the body horror works of Frank Henenlotter (and after reading other reviews here, everyone can find a little something different in it), and it all holds together very well. The main acting trio of Demi Moore, Margaret Qualley and Dennis Quaid all deliver incredible performances, each of them doing so in a slightly different style. There are some really great, impressive sequences and the final half hour is quite simply the scene of the year! [KVIFF 2024] ()

Filmmaniak 

wszystkie recenzje użytkownika

angielski An artsy trash flick that combines elegant and spectacular modern filmmaking with intense B-movie body horror that forces viewers with a weak stomach to avert their gaze or even walk out of the screening room. With its music-video softcore aesthetics, it’s as if David Cronenberg had shot Re-Animator, but The Substance ultimately falls into the category of gory splatter movies like Peter Jackson’s Braindead. As a satire about the self-destructive desire for eternal youth and beauty, it is rather (probably intentionally) straightforward and superficial in terms of its concept, and when it comes to the plot, the film does not really deal with sense and does not hesitate to break its own rules. Everything is subordinated to the film’s constant pushing of the boundaries of expectations and it is boldly shocking on several occasions in the extremes to which it is willing to go. However, it is filmed with extraordinary pulsating energy and, thanks to its brisk pace, throbbing music, polished shot composition and both of the actresses in the lead roles (and the wonderfully creepy Dennis Quaid in a supporting role), it is pure over-the-top entertainment for the thick-skinned that is an absolute joy to watch. It should ideally be experienced together with a large group of other viewers. ()

POMO 

wszystkie recenzje użytkownika

angielski Don’t be put off by the shallow premise and the B-movie stylisation. The reflection of the rules of television show business is deliberately superficial. Those past their prime must be replaced with young people with perfect bodies. And because of that, celebrities are willing to do anything to their own bodies. For roughly the first one hundred minutes, I didn’t want to believe that such a cheaply stylised trash flick could appear in the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival. Of course, Coralie Fargeat has a grander plan for us and takes it in unexpected directions with the inner psychological conflict of the main character and, in terms of genre, with a nod to Peter Jackson’s early splatter flicks. This is taken almost to the point of a transcendental body horror spectacle in which the director doesn’t shy away from humorously using the music of Herrmann from Vertigo and Strauss from 2001: A Space OdysseyDemi Moore is cast perfectly in the role of a fading celebrity, and Margaret Qualley excels as the up-and-coming star of a television show.  Qualley, incidentally, is enjoying a truly golden period in her career, as she also appeared in Lanthimos’s new film Kinds of Kindness in this year’s Cannes competition. Tarantino deserves thanks for discovering her! If the film hadn’t worked so clearly and predictably with B-movie elements in those first hundred minutes, I would have given it five stars! ___ It occurs to me that female directors are starting to show far more female nudity in their films than their male counterparts. I can cite two examples of this phenomenon just from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, namely Les Femmes au balcon and this film, The Substance, where we see both Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley’s breasts up close, not to mention their curves in leggings. Yum! [Cannes FF] ()

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