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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Sanctuary (2022)

On the face of it, this fits right in my wheelhouse. A theatrical two-hander studying the quirks and foibles of the human condition.

This focused to and fro requires kudos and smarts, and like here, the subject matter of what is really one long conversation, can be divisive or engaging, usually depending on the delivery, but just as often, also the viewer. Here, you tend to take away at least a version of what you brought with you. How enlightened or satisfied that is usually depends on you.

The performances are thankfully strong. Stronger in fact, than the story the movie is trying to tell, which is fundamentally a quite simple tale that takes altogether too long to get where it needs to be. At it's roots, the vagaries and inefficacy of man. Well, one very rich man with some unusual and specific sexual tastes, at least.

And here the story is predictable and a little disappointing, suggesting that the answer to everything is getting to do what you want with who you want, when you want, as long as you have the power and financial clout to do so. An ugly truth is still ugly, after all, and this is not aiming high, just pointing out the obvious. Anyone who goes to the trouble of watching this in its entirety is already most likely overtly familiar with the relationship being force-fed to them, and maybe lacks originality because of it.

Engaging throughout due to the almost helter-skelter, near bubbling lunacy of Rebecca (Margaret Qualley), even if that is often undermined by the character of Hal, played by Christopher Abbott. Hal is flawed and it shows, at least as much as Rebecca is hungry, but Qualley just convinces us better of what she is pretending to be.


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