2021 / 142m - France
Vortex poster


January 08, 2023


Gaspar Noé's latest is every bit as intense as his previous films, only the presentation is wildly different. Vortex is a more traditional arthouse drama. It's not as wild or dynamic, instead, it takes on the pace of the two aging leads who are slowly losing grip on the world around them.

An elderly couple still lives together, but their health is getting in the way of leading a normal life. The woman is dementing and has few moments of clarity left, the man has a heart condition and can't take proper care of his wife. Their son visits from time to time, but he is dealing with a drug addiction, so he can't take care of either of his parents.

The split screen idea is interesting (but doesn't really add all that much), the drama is intense and the performances are stellar. Still, 140 minutes is long for the basic premise and without his flashy presentation, Noé has a much harder time distinguishing himself from other arthouse productions. Vortex is a good film, but also one of his weakest.