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88. Bliss; movie review

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Title : 88. Bliss; movie review
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Cert 15
144 mins
BBFC advice: Contains strong language, violence

There are countless examples of comic actors playing superb straight roles in recent years, so I was intrigued by Owen Wilson going for it in Bliss.
But, while I enjoyed Mike Cahill's film, the truth is that Wilson wasn't stretched too far out of his comfort zone.
Indeed, later in the film, he reminded me of his appearance in the sofa commercials where he just wants to relax and watch the world go by.
That said, Bliss is an intriguing, engaging and slightly surreal delve into the spiral caused by drug addiction.
Wilson stars as Greg Wittle, a businessman who is constantly distracted by thoughts of a parallel world which seems so real to him that he can draw it in detail.
His poor performance at work leads to him being fired and a chain of events take him to Isabel (Salma Hayek) a persuasive woman with great powers.
She leads him to believe that they are real but almost everyone else is fake, created by a simulation.
Hayek is compelling while Cahill's direction is even clever enough to keep the audience guessing whether her story is valid or is she is simply a delusional, homeless addict with bad teeth.
Keeping Greg more anchored is his loyal daughter (Nesta Cooper) who refuses to give up on him despite being let down more times than she can remember.
Cahill's film has a smart script and looks good but, most importantly, it made me realise how and why addicts really could turn their back on their loved ones in search of 'bliss'.

Reasons to watch: Looks at drug addiction from a very different angle
Reasons to avoid: Is quite difficult to follow for a while

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: Yes
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 8/10

Did you know? Owen Wilson overcame drug adduction and depression which resulted in him being hospitalised after attempting to take his own life at his Santa Monica home in 2007.

The final word. Owen Wilson: "Since the idea was presented to me, I could start to find a lot of evidence that we’re in a simulation, especially with this past year. Yeah, you could make a very good case. Who knows, maybe we are? But every day we have choices we make, and things we decide we’re going to believe in. Your whole life can change on these little moments." Polygon

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