Written by Alex Garland
FILM SYNOPSIS: Twenty-something computer programmer Caleb wins a contest to spend a week at the isolated home of his boss, the CEO of the Internet’s largest provider. Caleb is thrilled to meet Nathan, whom he idolizes, but quickly learns the real reason for his presence: to administer a Turing test that judges the consciousness and abilities of Ava, a female android created by Nathan.
Written by Alex Garland, known for writing science fiction screenplay hits like “28 Days Later” and “Sunshine” as well as the novel “The Beach” to which the film is based on, “Ex Machina” is truly one of the strongest screenplays, and films, of the year. Much in the regards of “Her,” which told the story of a man falling in love with an operating system, “Ex Machina” explores a similar love story, but instead of Scarlett Johansson’s soothing voice to fall for, we have the gorgeous Alicia Vikander as an artificial intelligence. There’s a hint of mystery throughout the entire film, with a very noir-ish nature, where we are never quite sure who to trust, when even the protagonist has moments of mental instability. In a film that keeps you guessing until the very end and opens up a whole boatload of questions as far as where the film goes after the credits, this moves the science fiction genre forward by still being a modest, close-to-the-chest thriller of sorts.
What’s its competition? Many are saying that “Ex Machina” was lucky just to be nominated, and though I am thankful it got nominated, it ranks as one of my favorite films/screenplays of the year. Personal interests aside, “Ex Machina” lacks a correlating Best Picture nomination which “Bridge Of Spies” and “Spotlight” both have. “Spotlight” is even considered one of the front-runners in the Best Picture category, placing it at the top of the list. “Inside Out” has a correlating Best Animated Feature nomination which it will likely win, giving it an advantage over “Ex Machina.” And with the controversy over the lack of diversity in the Academy, “Straight Outta Compton,” which was actually written by Caucasians, could still get a sympathy vote (even though it still deserves the credit and win if it were to take the category). So all that in consideration, “Ex Machina” will likely not win either of the categories that it’s nominated for, but it is still great to see extraordinary work being honored in any capacity.
Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for Alex Garland.
“Ex Machina” (2015) Trailer:
// Produced by Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich //Directed by Alex Garland //
// Dated Viewed: Friday, January 29th, 2016 // AMAZON PRIME // 24 films – 31 days //