Synopsis: Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV's of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — arrive at Will's to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life. Making his feature-film debut after a series of highly acclaimed and award-winning short films and music videos, Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will...
I loved this film, from the concept, to the sharp and empathetic script to the wonderful performances of Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz & Benedict Wong. This film was heavily discussed on movie criticism podcasts after it made a huge splash at Sundance 2020, and then was nominated for three awards at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2021. The fact that this film was written and directed by a first time feature film maker Edson Oda is almost unbelievable, the pose and grace that is on display in every frame of this restrained, and pained performance of Winston Duke, and the innocence and lightness brought to the film by Zazie Beetz feel like they were captured and nurtured by a seasoned pro who has made dozens of films. I watched this film for the first time on April, 3 2022 and will tell you it was immediately added to my top 10 of 2021, as my 2nd favorite feature film of the year.
If you haven’t seen this film find a way to see it, currently streaming on Starz but worth the price of admission on any service you can rent or buy.