Probably you’ve noticed our enthusiasm over Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast, a major evolution in genre and ambition for one of the world’s greatest filmmakers. There’s Léa Seydoux’s potentially career-best work; George MacKay vaulting above just about anyone of his generation with a bilingual, multi-headed turn; Bonello’s characteristically great soundtrack; and a final, terrifying stretch leaving me to wonder how who else is pushing images and montage to this director’s extent. What’s not to like? First-viewing reservations largely melted away on a second look, and my third can’t come sooner. Ahead of its April 5 release from Janus and Sideshow, the U.S. trailer is here.

David Katz was duly impressed out of Venice, writing, “Where to begin with Bertrand Bonello’s wonderful The Beast? It’s been so gratifying to see the initial reaction to the French filmmaker’s tenth feature, after several decades of increasingly remarkable work––the majority of it dark, beautiful, and sleazy. In fact, for what a discomforting and despairing experience much of The Beast is, when I’ve thought back its moments of real, uncomplicated cinematic pleasure, its verve and sense of joyousness, are what mark my memories. It’s romantic, without a capital-R.”

Find the preview below:

The year is 2044: artificial intelligence controls all facets of a stoic society as humans routinely “erase” their feelings. Hoping to eliminate pain caused by their past-life romances, Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) continually falls in love with different incarnations of Louis (George MacKay). Set first in Belle Époque-era Paris Louis is a British man who woos her away from a cold husband, then in early 21st Century Los Angeles, he is a disturbed American bent on delivering violent “retribution.” Will the process allow Gabrielle to fully connect with Louis in the present, or are the two doomed to repeat their previous fates? Visually audacious director Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, Nocturama) fashions his most accomplished film to date: a sci-fi epic, inspired by Henry James turn-of-the-century novella, suffused with mounting dread and a haunting sense of mystery. Punctuated by a career-defining, three-role performance by Seydoux, The Beast poignantly conveys humanity’s struggle against dissociative identity and emotionless existence.

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