Since her starring role in Jet Trash, Sofia Boutella has appeared in a trio of big productions including Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, with Russel Crowe and Tom Cruise, and David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde. After spending the last few years in the high-end world of Hollywood productions, Boutella has taken a sharp left turn into the world of Art Cinema under the tutorship of the infamous Gaspar Noé.

From Hollywood to Hedonism

Gaspar Noé is one of the most controversial characters in the film industry, from the excruciating violence of Irreversible to the very real sex scenes in Love, he has never failed to divide opinion.

In an attack on the bland repetitiveness of the main stream, Noé has produced his own form of Art Cinema which explores the deepest and darkest depths of the human psyche. The definition of an auteur, Noé creates films for his own enjoyment rather than the viewer’s and it is this approach that has led to such inconsistency with the critics.

A Climactic Occasion for both Boutella and Noé

Boutella plays a leading role in Climax which was screened in a basement cinema at 8.30am during this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

It is safe to say that many were surprised by the glowing reviews that have emerged from that basement, even Gaspar himself who, when told about the six or seven walkouts, bemoans, “aw man, no, no, no! I usually have 25% of the audience walking out”. As a man who thrives on the weird and dark, he would rather displease than please.

A Dystopian Nightmare

Shot in only two weeks, Climax becomes one long artistic dance sequence, shifting away from normality after the members of a generic dance troupe begin to drink from a punch bowl spiked with LSD.

The pleasant and coherent opening scenes of characterisation and dialogue merge with the foreboding setting of a closed down boarding school in the middle of a forest. The hellish scenes that follow succeed in capturing the audience who leave satisfied but disturbed, rather than disgusted and scarred.

Boutella may have found her calling in this weird world of artistic expression and she might have chosen the perfect moment, as Noé drifts from raw violence and sex to the more subtle and expressionist mode of dance.