Writer-director Lucile Hadzihalilovic (who directed Marion Cotillard in Innocence and worked with Gaspar Noé on Enter the Void) returned this fall with her new film, Evolution. Debuting at TIFF and stopping by AFI and Fantastic Fest, the film centers on Nicolas (Max Brebant), a ten-year-old boy living on a remote island that is solely inhabited by women and young boys. All of the boys are subjected to strange medical treatments and Nicolas becomes determined to find out exactly what his mother and the other women are up to. Ahead of its U.K. release — and months in advance of a U.S. fall opening — a new preview has arrived.
This sounds intriguing, but it didn’t work for us. As we said in our review, “A silly horror movie at heart, Lucile Hadžihalilovic’s Innocence follow-up seems to confuse “ideas” with “prolonged silences,” certainly pertaining to both our young protagonist clearly directed to look as pensive as possible for an 11-year old in his many close-ups, as well as the many creepy “nurses” on the island. In fact, the film is epitomized in one scene where the nurses are show birthing videos of mutant children, in close-up making a small spectacle of their blank expressions. In this we see both trying to read something into empty gestures, as well reacting with no emotion to something supposedly horrifying.”
See the preview below (via Screen Relish):
10-year-old Nicolas lives with his mother on a remote island, in a village inhabited solely by women and young boys. In a hospital overlooking the ocean, all the boys are subjected to a mysterious medical treatment. Only Nicolas questions what is happening around him. He senses that his mother is lying to him, and is determined to find out what she does with the other women at night, on the beach… What he discovers is the beginning of a nightmare into which he is helplessly drawn. But in Stella, a young nurse at the hospital, Nicolas finds an unexpected ally.