Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Upside Down

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence
Profanity:Mild language
Nudity/Sex:Kisses, potty humor
Alcohol/Drugs:Cigars, cocktails
Violence/Scariness:Characters in peril, shooting, fire, injuries
Diversity Issues:A metaphoric theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:March 15, 2013
DVD Release Date:June 25, 2013

 Argentinean writer-director Juan Solanas has created a work of bracingly singular imagination that is sheer visual pleasure, with some mind-bending ideas and a deeply romantic sensibility.

We are told by Adam (Jim Sturgess) that throughout the universe, there is only one solar system with “dual gravity.”  He lives in the “down” side of mirror-image parallel worlds.  Interaction between the two worlds is strictly forbidden, with the exception of a tightly controlled transfer of energy by a vast, soulless, and predatory corporation.  The laws of physics in this world also impose a barrier.  Matter from one side quickly heats up and burns when it is placed in the other.  People carry their gravitational pull with them, so that anyone who visits the other side will give themselves away by floating back toward their home turf.

Adam was orphaned following an industrial accident.  His only family is his Aunt Becky, who sends him into the mountains to gather a very rare pink bee pollen that stands out in the wintry gray and blue of the bleached-out color scheme.  On the highest peak, he glimpses a girl named Eden Moore (Kirsten Dunst) in the mountains of the up world.  They are close enough to talk to each other.  Within a few years, they are in love.  He pulls her down on a rope and with her back up against a protruding crag to keep her from floating back up, they kiss.

But they are tracked down and she is badly hurt trying to escape.  Ten years later, Adam learns that Eden has survived the accident and works for the corporation.  He has to find her again.  But it turns out the totalitarian regime and gravitational barriers are not their biggest obstacles.

Solanas has created two worlds of vast and stunningly intricate detail.  Identical desks extend endlessly across both floor and ceiling in cavernous offices.  Eden likes to drink upside-down cocktails, blue liquid served in a stem-up glass and slurped from below.  And the consequences of reverse gravity are imaginatively (if not always consistently) explored.  Adam remembers to use hairspray to help him pass as a top world resident, to make sure that his hair won’t hang the wrong way (up instead of down) when he goes to see Eden.  But when he hides out in the men’s room, he does not think about the fact that his pee will hit the ceiling, not the urinal.  His early experiments to help him pass for an “up” have a limited time span that adds a Cinderella quality to the story.

Timothy Spall provides zesty comic relief as Adam’s “up” world colleague and Dunst and Sturgess have a swoon-worthy chemistry that makes the story feel, well, grounded.  The daring originality of Solanas’ vision more than makes up for some narrative lags and makes this one of the most promising debuts in recent memory.

Parents should know that this film includes peril, chases, and some violence, including shooting, with some characters injured.  There is a fire and there are references to sad deaths and a brief image of hanging.  A character smokes cigars and some drink cocktails and there is brief potty humor.

Family discussion: What kind of government is in place in this movie?  Why is there income disparity between the two worlds?

If you like this, try: “Looper” and “Solaris”

 



Previous Posts

Intuition -- A Short Film from Danielle Lurie
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/101953117[/vimeo]

posted 10:09:01am Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Joseph Nasser of "Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway"
Reserve Police Officer Joseph Nasser produced Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway to help raise awareness of the Amber Alert system. It stars Tom Berenger as a man on the edge, making a dead rush for Mexico and kidnapping two young girls along the way. He is hotly pursued by police chief Martha Geig

posted 8:00:33am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

"Guardian of the Galaxy's" Awesome Mixtape
One of the many pleasures of "Guardians of the Galaxy," opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70's classics from an "Awesome Mixtape" played by Peter "Star Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede [youtube]http://www.youtub

posted 8:00:21am Jul. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Day 2
Day 2 of Comic-Con included: an interview with "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2" screenwriter Thunder Levin, a buggy lunch with Boxtrolls, press events with the directors and casts of four films, and appearing on the Rotten Tomatoes panel, where each attendee was given a paddle with a ripe tomato on on

posted 10:04:47pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Thank You! This Site is 19 Years Old This Week!
It seems like yesterday, but it was 19 years ago this week that I first began writing reviews online as The Movie Mom®.  Anyone remember Prodigy?  The first appearance of my website was via the Sears-owned online service, so long ago it does not even turn up in Wayback searches.  At the time, we

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.