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French dancers gather in a remote, empty school building to rehearse on a wintry night. The all-night celebration morphs into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn their sangria is laced with LSD.

Director:

Gaspar Noé

Writer:

Gaspar Noé
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213 ( 72)
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sofia Boutella ... Selva
Romain Guillermic Romain Guillermic ... David
Souheila Yacoub Souheila Yacoub ... Lou
Kiddy Smile Kiddy Smile ... Daddy
Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull ... Emmanuelle (as Claude Gajan Maull)
Giselle Palmer Giselle Palmer ... Gazelle
Taylor Kastle Taylor Kastle ... Taylor
Thea Carla Schott Thea Carla Schott ... Psyche
Sharleen Temple Sharleen Temple ... Ivana
Lea Vlamos Lea Vlamos ... Lea
Alaia Alsafir Alaia Alsafir ... Alaya
Kendall Mugler Kendall Mugler ... Rocket
Lakdhar Dridi Lakdhar Dridi ... Riley
Adrien Sissoko Adrien Sissoko ... Omar
Mamadou Bathily Mamadou Bathily ... Bats
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Storyline

In the mid 1990's, 20 French urban dancers join together for a three-day rehearsal in a closed-down boarding school located at the heart of a forest to share one last dance. They then make one last party around a large sangria bowl. Quickly, the atmosphere becomes charged and a strange madness will seize them the whole night. If it seems obvious to them that they have been drugged, they neither know by who nor why. And it's soon impossible for them to resist to their neuroses and psychoses, numbed by the hypnotic and the increasing electric rhythm of the music. While some feel in paradise, most of them plunge into hell. Written by Anonymous Two

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing content involving a combination of drug use, violent behavior and strong sexuality, and for language and some graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Belgium | USA

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

19 September 2018 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Psyché See more »

Filming Locations:

France

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The synopsis provided for Cannes Film Festival's 50th Directors' Fortnight section was such: "Birth and death are extraordinary experiences. Life is a fleeting pleasure." See more »

Goofs

While the movie is supposed to be set in 1996, which is confirmed by the clothes, the music and the lack of smartphones, the French spoken in the film is very much 2010s, with many anglicisms or other recent verbal tics heard throughout the movie. See more »

Connections

References Irreversible (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Electron
Performed by Wild Planet
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User Reviews

 
Climax (2018): Review
24 September 2018 | by ethancarmanmooreSee all my reviews

A group of dancers practising for their American tour celebrate while unknowingly drinking LSD-laced Sangria; what could go wrong? Gaspar Noé is back with his newest, and possibly most accessible, film. Noé has been on a list of directors that I would label 'watch cautiously' ever since I originally saw his film Irréversible (2002) years ago. It was, and still is, one of the most emotionally detrimental films I had ever seen. With his use of amazingly unique cinematography, lighting, and camera movements, Noé immediately peaked my interest. I thought he knocked it out of the park with that film and hasn't matched up to it since. While Enter the Void (2009) is an extremely interesting film visually and conceptually, the characters and story just did not work for me. The same can be said for his film Love (2015).

Climax is an extravaganza of dance, sex, chaos, and, the most importantly, panic. It is comparable to one long, 96 minute, looming panic attack. But in a good way. The film reels you in with a wicked-long dance number with blaring synth music and it is honestly enthralling to watch. It is one long beautiful take and it prepares you for the style that encompasses the rest of the film. Noé can make a shot last 10-15 minutes without it coming across as if he is showing off. It takes real skill to set up these complex shots that last for so long and to pull them off flawlessly without having the actors mess up a line or having the continuity be broken. His long takes simply engage you as an audience member and make you feel as if you are part of the situation. It feels natural.

Seriously though, beware. This film is emotionally exhausting. It has a way of sticking a horrible feeling in your gut and keeping it there until long after the movie is over. It is a spectacle of a bad acid trip. The actors, camera work, and storytelling make it feel as if you are a witness to this chaotic event that is taking place. Sofia Boutella is fantastic in the film and so is the rest of the cast. Every character feels so believable and honest. There is a lot of information given about the characters within the first 20 minutes or through dialogue which can be a bit confusing considering there is a lot of them and we do not immediately learn all of their names. However, I think that this will make for rewarding rewatches.

'Climax' is much more accessible compared to any of Noe's previous works. It is not ultra-violent, nor is it an excess in experimental filmmaking. It is a fairly straightforward story with fantastic performances, beautiful cinematography, and unbelievable camera work. It is by far his best film since Irréversible and may be his best film, period. Although multiple viewings will have to confirm this. It is enthralling in every regard and should be seen for the first time in a theatre if possible. I cannot wait to see this one for the second time.


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