Parents' Guide to

Memoria

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Arthouse drama has complex themes, mild language.

Movie PG 2021 136 minutes
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His first film shot outside of Thailand and featuring an international star, this captivating film introduces Apichatpong Weerasethakul's meditative, otherworldly filmmaking to a much wider audience. Colombia's Oscar entry for Best International Feature Film, the stillness and silence of Memoria may frustrate some viewers but will enchant others as an exercise in mindfulness before entertainment. The eeriness created as Swinton's Jessica sits at the dinner table choosing to not even react to the sonic boom that nobody else can hear perfectly embodies the spiritual isolation the film explores. The nature of reality itself is a central theme here. Is it shared or individual? How much does it change with every tiny occurrence?

The director conjures a detached feeling that echos Jessica's insomniac state, as she tries to piece together fractures of what's real and what makes sense. An ongoing symphony of car alarms, characters that appear to traverse dimensions, and talk of ancient burial grounds tease other forces at play. But what there is at the heart of the film is an existential disorder perfectly embodied by Swinton's stripped-back, haunting portrayal.

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