Lux Aeterna (2020) Review: A Near Masterpiece In Every Aspect (Written By Jaeden Noel)
Lux Aeterna is the new electrifying film by one of my favourite directors of all time, Gaspar Noé. It premiered in 2019 at Cannes Film Festival to the typical Gaspar Noé film reactions. For almost a year I've waited and waited for information and announcements on the film and finally it's here. The question is, was it all worth the hype? Let's get into it.
The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Béatrice Dalle playing themselves on the set of a film about witchcraft where slowly things begin to spin out of control. Lux Aeterna is easily Gaspar's most meta and "normal" film. It plays out exactly like how you would imagine a Gaspar Noé set to feel and sound like: loud, intense, sporadic and chaotic. It's also probably one of his most linear stories since his divisive 2015 film Love. Clocking in at a mere 1 hour and 6 minutes it's also one of his shortest film's since Carne all the way back in 1991. But don't let that fool you, not a single minute is wasted as something significant is always unfolding on screen keeping you drawn in, even if it doesn't always answer your question.
As always, the entire crew that worked on Noé's new film is absolutely perfect. Both main actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Béatrice Dalle give amazing performances and even supporting actors such as Karl Glusman bring a unique vibe to the film, creating for some pretty funny moments (shocker right! Humor in a Gaspar Film?). Benoît Debie absolutely knocks it out of the park as always with his beautiful cinematography. The screenplay is near perfect and the only issue I really had with it was how abruptly it ended. Not abrupt in the sense it ended out of nowhere, I just wished it was full length so we could really get deep into the stories of the film.
Despite easily being Noé's most tame film content wise, I must give you this warning. If you suffer from epilepsy, or you're sensitive to strobe lighting and flashing proceed with caution. The amount of strobe lighting in this film is off the charts and something you would never see in a North American film EVER. My recommendation would be to watch the first 15 minutes on very low brightness. But nevertheless, if you can handle that then I urge every single one of you reading this to seek out this film. Especially any one in film school or anyone making film's as I'm sure at least one of you will relate to certain moments in the film.
At the end of the day, Lux Aeterna will cater to a very niche demographic, but it's beautiful cinematography and excellent performances alone make it worth recommending. Although it's not a masterpiece it's pretty damn close and will easily go down as one of the best of the year.
Lux Aeterna gets a 4.5/5!