Advantageous Screen 7 articles

Advantageous

2015

Advantageous Poster
  • Advantageous's visual effects are sophisticated for a low-budget film, and the acting is pleasantly realistic, but filmmaker Jennifer Phang portrays this very near future like a universe of such quietness and sterility that it's difficult to care about its inhabitants. The dialogue is so disaffected it's as if humans were replicants even before going through the aforementioned twin-making procedure.

  • Advantageous is intelligent without being didactic, psychologically persuasive about the symbiosis of mother and daughter, but perhaps just a bit too low-key in execution for the dystopia it imagines.

  • The ideas are admirably heady, and Phang, making just her second feature (after 2008’s little-seen Half-Life), demonstrates a sure hand with both her imaginative milieu and her cast, which also includes James Urbaniak as another Center honcho, and Ken Jeong, in a rare non-comic role, as Jules’ father. If nothing else, Advantageous makes a superb showcase for Kim... For all its ambition and evident virtues, however, Advantageous feels oddly skimpy, with a lot of dead air.

  • Too often, contemporary science-fiction movies are just thrillers pumped up with SFX and the latest in zap-gun futurology... Every so often, though, a small-scale, thoughtful movie like “Advantageous” comes along and summons up a speculative new world with brains, some frugal sleight of hand and the cool confidence that, in the future, our greatest threat won’t be rampaging robots or alien invasions but the same hard-charging menace that’s haunted the planet since time immemorial — people.

  • An affecting mother-daughter indie drama with an engrossing philosophical hook and dystopian details.

  • This is not a work of cinema bound by overblown genre prerogatives: Phang gives Advantageous a nimble touch and a devastating conclusion, more a chamber drama of its milieu than anything remotely close to satire. It will be measured in coming years not for whiz-bang visuals or hoary monologues, but for its prescience.

  • Among critics, Advantageous has been labelled as “soap-operatic,” “tedious,” and “small.” But real motherhood is all of the above. The film does not shy away from the reality of maternal sacrifice as a heavy, tangled mess of politics, families, personal wants and needs. Instead, it implicates us for failing to ease the mother’s burden.

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