A party descends into chaos.
Gaspar Noé’s new movie is “brilliantly deranged,” said A.A. Dowd in AVClub.com. The provocative French director has found the perfect vehicle for his “abrasive, showboating” style in this story of a house party gone wrong. A dance troupe has convened at a studio to rehearse, and we get to know the members through conversations that reveal their grudges and crushes. Then, at an after-party, someone spikes the sangria with a hallucinogen, kicking off “the world’s worst collective freak-out—a drug trip straight to the inner circles of hell.” The cast is composed mostly of young dancers, and they exude a gossipy camaraderie that “becomes all the more delicious when it turns into psychedelic sex and violence,” said Emily Yoshida in NYMag.com. As Noé’s camera follows various partiers through the building, it lists left and right, sometimes even flipping upside down while the music plays on. Somewhere in the chaos, you can discern an allegory about multicultural France self-imploding, said Bilge Ebiri in VillageVoice.com. In the end, Climax is “about the sadness of watching something beautiful fall apart.” And “it is never less than electrifying.”
AP, Jonathan Hession/Focus Features, A24