Planetarium Screen 5 articles



Planetarium Poster
  • While Portman can be a charming actress, she clearly chose the wrong script. It’s all so aestheticized and tasteful that a viewer could fall asleep, but it would be hard to tell if she missed anything given the shapeless, convoluted storytelling. To believe in cinema we have to (as per Kierkegaard) suspend our faith in reality, but this liquified Chanel ad doesn’t take us to heaven along the way—it just plunges us into an infernal abyss of boredom.

  • This isn’t the good kind of mess that’s just bursting with too many ideas to contain itself: it’s just half-assed in multiple directions... Zlotowski’s dialogue is often actively bad, clunkily articulating themes (“I want to act to live”) and subtext. The ultimate effect is exhaustion.

  • It's so bereft of narrative direction and bewildering in establishing dynamics between characters that it’s impossible to know what is ever happening and why for most of its running time. The film appears as interested in developing the strange relationship between Korben and the two young women as it is in exploring the possibility that Kate can really speak with spirits. “Planetarium” doesn’t say anything interesting about either subject.

  • Earlier this year, I wrote about the studious neoclassicism that sometimes seems to petrify the current French cinema. But the new French film Planetarium suggests that, in the right hands, there’s an upside to such an absorption in the movies’ grand tradition: the power to reëxamine it. Planetarium is a glossy historical fantasy, loosely based on a true story—and its glossiness is essential both to its evocation of the past and of its setting, the French movie industry of the nineteen-thirties.

  • The general disregard for this film doesn’t surprise or upset me. But I dunno—I think there’s something here . . . Twined together, these stories become a bold mashup of complicated sexual and professional desires, an exploration of cinematic magic to rival (even surpass) that of a movie like Hugo, and of course, an ongoing allusion to the horrors of the coming war.

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