Upstream ColorClosed Captioning
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A woman (Amy Seimetz) is abducted and hypnotized with an organic material harvested from a specific flower. When she falls for a man (Carruth) the two come to realize he may also have been subjected to the same process. They search urgently for a place of safety within each other and struggle to assemble the fragments of their wrecked lives, unknowingly drawn into the life cycle of a presence that permeates the microscopic world, moving to nematodes, plant life, livestock, and back again.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 132
- Fresh: 112
- Rotten: 20
- Average Rating: 7.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: If the movie is a bit of a mystery, so is Carruth.
Fresh: Carruth's visual approach, saved from abstraction by his own rapid, forward-leaping editing, is extremely assured. Seimetz is a fine and expressively haunted actress. I look forward to the enigmas in Carruth's next picture.
Fresh: Should you see Upstream Color? A better question may be: How many times should you see it?
Rotten: At times the movie has a stunning George Saunders-level sci-fi blues . . . but really, it's NYC hipster existentialism.
Know yourself well
Every now and then I stumble across a movie that makes me angry. There is a certain level of pretentiousness that I cannot describe in words, but if you have any sense of humility this movie will irritate you. The lead actor/director/writer/cinematographer does a decent job of all of these things, but he fails to do anything great with any of them. It isn't about understanding a story, its about feeling a story. Through all its experimental and artistic glory it lacks the one key ingredient for any good piece of art: human emotion. I would not recommend this movie to anyone that does not describe themselves as a die-hard David Lynch fan or has even been called a pretentious hipster. This is the first movie I started that I did not finish since 'The Phantom' from 1996. If you can get past the first 10 minutes without rolling your eyes then maybe you can enjoy it.
Beautiful & rewarding
Beautiful, technically superb (cinematography, editing, sound design, etc), and excellent storytelling. It's not about getting the answers, it's about the journey.
Ever feel drawn to someone magnetically and you're not sure why? Ever feel suddenly anxious about something you can't put your finger on? The writer/director of Upstream Color has crafted a twisted yet swooningly romantic story that touches on the mysteries of human connection and our connection to natural world.
Using some sci-fi elements to hint at the unseen forces that might shape our lives, he paints a vivid picture of two lost souls who forge a relationship because of their baggage, rather than despite their baggage. Although such connections can lead to destruction, they find something beautiful - this is a haunting portrait of impulsive love. All the mysterious characters swirling around the periphery of the story put it into a larger context that suggests that our passions can be both raw, crude and animalistic (like the pigs you'll glimpse in the trailer), and also incredibly noble and transcendent. Are we mere animals cursed with brains that allow us to overanalyze every impulse. Are we single cells of a larger being, unable to see our true role in the life cycle? If you like your love stories with a dose of philosophy and a sprinkling of sci-fi, download Upstream Color immediately!!!