The hortative takeaway of this black horror comedy, straight from the heart of period 80s Euro-cynicism, is: Move on, mother fucker, or else. Wise words, I guess, but any script, however sophisticated, that asks me to ridicule — and worse, accept the punishment of — a character for his grief, however obsessive, ain't gonna get no love from me.
I can't imagine anyone who reads sci-fi more than casually, or even someone who's seen a decent number of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, and especially anyone who's read Richard Powers' prescient and emotionally rich Galatea 2.2, or perhaps a reasonably informed average user of modern computers, to do anything but scoff and laugh at Spike Jonez's superficial attempt to speculate about artificially intelligent agents in, what? The near future? An alternate universe? Inside his head? Every time someone…
I can't think of a more accomplished, incisive and illuminating director of actors than Lucrecia Martel, particularly in the naturalistic style she's fond of, and there's no better observer and skewerer of a particular set of social mores. This is my Argentina, every frame of this movie says, and instead of being off-putting or condescending, as the tone of most American directors out of Hollywood would take of their societies, the feel here is intimate and painful — the terror of true self-awareness. That this was her first feature still astonishes me. The Chekhov comparisons are not hyperbole.