Too little use of a rich palette of music and too much peddling of important themes like diversity and the evils of cultural appropriation.
Not enough to expand the movie’s appeal beyond the narrow demographic of fans representing its target audience.
Made with such care and focus on the particulars of the situation that one doesn’t have to agree with Hittman’s perspective to be moved by the film.
A solid throwaway B-movie that probably thinks it has more to say than it actually does but is entertaining nonetheless.
The movie does many things - some are wrenching, some pose unanswerable existential questions, and some make one wonder whether the film should exist in the first place.
A dark and challenging film and those searching for escapist fare might find that "Vivarium" is a little too intense for comfort.
The offbeat approach brings a freshness to a genre (the rom-com) that has become static and predictable.
Exists as a reminder not only of a time when filmmakers had more latitude but of the types of production that would find little traction in today’s changed cinematic marketplace.
U.S. Release Date: 2020-03-20
MPAA Rating: "R" (Violence, Profanity, Drugs, Sexual Content)
Director: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy
Cast: Sophie Lowe, Morgan Saylor, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Margo Martindale, June Squibb, Marceline Hugot, Annette O’Toole, Will Brittain, Gayle Rankin
Relies on old-fashioned movie elements like atmosphere, character development, and narrative arc without needing crutches like fast editing, frenetic action sequences, and visual clutter.