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Review: Upside Down

By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 14, 2013
1.5 1.5 Stars



Had Ed Wood Jr. directed Fritz Lang's Metropolis, he couldn't have achieved the earnest dopiness of Juan Solanas's sci-fi allegory — nor the striking images. Kudos to set designer Alex McDowell for the look of the film's twin planets, stills of which would make a fine coffee-table book. Held in stasis by a shared gravity field, the dual system consists of Up Above, a chi-chi world that holds sway over desolate Down Below, which looks like Gary, Indiana, by way of London during the Blitz. The Uppers exploit the Downers, but before you can say, "Workers of Down Below unite!", Downer Adam (Jim Sturgess) meets Eden (played inertly by Kirsten Dunst, who may still be feeling down from Melancholia). Corporate cops separate them, but Adam plots to regain Eden — and this is where the Ed Wood element really kicks in — by inventing a wrinkle cream from pink bee pollen, the secret ingredient in his Aunt Becky's pancake recipe. Worth a look if only for the Caspar David Friedrich–inspired imagery and shots of Timothy Spall's teeth.

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