The hushed closing reels are unusual in Noé’s oeuvre in that they generate straightforward empathy and emotion without falling back on gimmicks, trickery or shock tactics.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
The filmmaker has made a rather soulful look at what it means to grasp onto life in its waning moments, and invites his audience into the center of that dilemma.
With its uncommonly human touch and restless, unflinching visual aesthetic, Vortex might well be Noe’s finest and most thoughtful work.
Doubtless, due to Noé’s own real-world experiences, “Vortex” is a success, if a dolorous one: a dignified, sometimes desperate tribute to, as the dedication reads, “all those whose minds will decompose before their hearts.”
At 145 minutes, few locations, and very little dialogue, this unflinching look at the fate that awaits us is anything but expeditious—yet it demands to be seen, a radical film with as much capacity to shock as it does to burden the tear ducts. It is amongst his very best.
Noé’s extraordinary film unfolds as a tale of murmured terrors and nameless dread, creeping softly around a cramped Paris apartment like a cinematic Grim Reaper.