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Ex Machina (2015)

There are certain things in this world I have a fondness for. Contemporary design, beauty and things that are left of center. Alex Garland's directorial debut appeals to all of these and includes a score by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury that helps bring it all together.

The story revolves around Caleb, (Domnhall Gleeson) a young coder at Blue Book (think google), its reclusive CEO, Nathan (Oscar Isaac) and Nathan's human like AI, AVA (Alicia Vikander). Young Caleb wins a trip to visit Nathan in his remote "home" and help test AVA's ability to pass the Turing test. I will leave the rest for you to experience for yourself.

I was first taken by the architecture and design of Nathan's "home". Cut into the earth with exposed interior rock facings, stainless steel and glass abound in a home that would make a Bond villain proud. This is the type of "home" that is only built by enormous wealth and foreshadows Nathan before he even appears. It is easy for me to imagine the types of things that could happen in a place like this, given such vast resources.

The majority of the film revolves around Caleb and his interaction with Nathan and AVA. Isaac is wonderful in portraying the obnoxious, overbearing Nathan. Gleeson is well suited as his counterpart, with his spinal fortitude in question and awkwardness in tow.

Despite this, AVA steals the shows. Alicia Vikander is a classically trained ballerina and appears to be the perfect choice as AVA. Her control of body movement, articulations and facial expressions convey an undercurrent of artificial life nearing the precipice of human facsimile. I just loved this performance. AVA is a beauty, that in spite of her exposed workings, still manages to appeal to the human range of emotions.

I will leave the rest for you to discover. Ex Machina was a welcome viewing, before the onslaught of popcorn in the coming weeks. Thought provoking indeed, it left me impressed with a slight knock to my self confidence .

+ Great design, camera work and score
+ Alicia Vikander

- having to wait 5 minutes for an order of fries I assumed were already made when a secret was revealed.