High-Rise ★★★★½

I'm a big Ballard fan, and I dig what I've seen of Ben Wheatley, so my expectations going into this were very high. They were met. This is an excellent adaptation of the novel, one that manages to make the story both darker and funnier (mostly with ironic juxtapositions that should have seemed tired, but, strangely, didn't), and the cast is Of the supporting cast I especially enjoyed James Purefoy add the quintessential 1970s toff gone right off the rails. But of course it's Hiddleston, whose bland handsomeness is perfect for depicting the passive Ballardian non-hero (a line I don't think is in the book but probably should be comes when a woman describes his character, post-coitally, as the best of the building's amenities; that's one of the Ballardest things to say to a Ballard character, maybe ever) and Irons as the diabolical architect, whom we're meant to focus on, but I liked Purefoy the best.

Wheatley seems to have taken up the mantle of Ken Russell in his enjoyment of showing humanity at its weirdest and worst, with a touch of the Richard Lester who brought us The Bed Sitting Room.

The film also manages at times to be absolutely gorgeous, as in a twilight scene with the angry amber color of a polluted sunset illuminating the waters of a filthy swimming pool. You've got to see it toounderstand.