This weekend you have a choice, a choice between two films featuring an artificially intelligent being. The first choice is movie that’s going to make $220+ million dollars, shatter box office records and end up one of the highest grossing movies of all-time, both domestically and internationally. The other is the best movie of 2015 so far and likely to be one of the best movies of the year once December 31 rolls around.
Of course option #1 is Avengers: Age of Ultron, a movie that’s not going anywhere for some time so if you miss it this weekend you aren’t missing anything because you’ll be able to see it next weekend, the weekend after that and most likely at some point over the next three months. The other option is the movie you’ll be kicking yourself if you wait to see it… Ex Machina and it won’t have nearly the longevity in theaters as Avengers.
Ex Machina features three of the best performances you’re going to see this year courtesy of stars Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson. It features a killer, original screenplay from Alex Garland who makes his feature directorial debut with this film. A score from Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury that wraps you up and holds you tight and some wonderfully cold and compelling cinematography from Rob Hardy. And then you have the effects work and production design and we’re honestly talking about a movie that deserves massive Oscar consideration. In fact, let’s get that started right now.
For Ex Machina to not be part of the Oscar conversation would be an insult and as much as it’s possible Vikander delivers in Testament of Youth and The Danish Girl later this year, I have a hard time believing either performance will be as freshly compelling as her work here as Ava. Isaac as well deserves support for his mad scientist performance and below the line, Ex Machina is a gem.
If you can, wait a week to see Age of Ultron, it’s not going anywhere and there’s nothing to really talk about, but take a few friends to Ex Machina and I can guarantee you’ll have something to discuss.