David Cronenberg has a film coming out called Crimes of the Future and in this dystopian drama, the human body is reacting to the environment by growing new organs rapidly like a cancer and you have the government trying to catalog and understand what is happening with the hope of controlling it while there are dissidents who want to accelerate it for survival sake after witnessing mutations like a child that can eat and digest plastic. At the center you have the microcosm of people fetishizing the mutations through gross performance art. At face value I thought it sounds like just another David Cronenberg film, but upon examining it further, it is sort of like a genuine environmental warning where the problem cannot be controlled by the powers that be, people trying to accelerate it are not certain if they are correct and then you have the masses who are in denial and treating it like the new “thing” and I thought to myself, strip away all of the outlandish elements and Crimes of the Future is Crimes of the Present.
Viggo Mortensen delivers a nuanced if not sympathetic performance of an artist who is afflicted with the syndrome and has turned it into a way to earn a living by having his partner (Lea Seydous) literally cut the mutations out of his body in front of a live audience while Kristen Stewart is a government agent sent to investigate the phenomenon only to become enamored with it and Mortensen’s character. Scott Speedman represents the other side with it’s own questionable intentions. Mortensen shares great screen chemistry with Lea Seydous while Stewart at times seems a little too starstruck to believably be taken seriously as a clandestine government agent though she is absolutely gorgeous in the film and certainly sells the idea of a young woman crossing the line from a professional with a job to do to later becoming a groupie.
Cronenberg and Mortensen work beautifully together as one of the great actor and auteur relationships of our time and Cronenberg manages to create a world where much is suggested, but little is seen save for the surgery scenes that may or may not prove too graphic for those unfamiliar with the Director’s style. Crimes of the Future is in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, but it will be opening in the United States distributed by Neon on June 2, 2022.
(C)Copyright 2022 By Mark A. Rivera
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