Otto Bloom has a problem. Unstuck from the natural flow of time, he experiences memory in reverse. That is, he forgets everything that has happened to him but he knows with absolutely clarity what will happen next. To make matters worse, he’s trapped in an independent Australian feature film which has little more to hold onto than its logline. The Death and Life of Otto Bloom aspires to inventiveness—in content and form—but its ideas are so simplistic, its stabs at emotional pull so limp, its aesthetic grounding as a faux-documentary so uninteresting that it, in keeping with Bloom’s own condition, is instantly forgettable.
Almost instantly forgettable, Nolan's latest feature might contain some stunning visual sequences but they are squished between mountains of clunky exposition, underwritten characters and cringe-inducing dialogue.
The film takes 45 minutes to actually get started, the Earth-set first act tethered to a very poorly explained future and weirdly simple plan to save it before we actually get into space. When that happens, we find ourselves at a recurring juxtaposition between some of the best visual depictions of deep space ever…
I'm not entirely sure what this film thinks it is, throwing so much shit at the wall and hoping something profound sticks. I do know, though, that without that really good drum score it would have been a whole lot more dull to sit through; we witness the process of the film figuring itself out, messily and unconvincingly over its far too long runtime.
Norton was great, if you want to tackle self-obsession and ego in art and theatre, make…