Amazon Original Movie: Bliss Review

BLISS will Launch Worldwide on Prime Video on February 5th, 2021
Written and Directed by Mike CahillProduced by James D. SternStarring Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek, Nesta CooperPlot: Bliss is a mind-bending love story following Greg (Owen Wilson) who, after recently being divorced and then fired, meets the mysterious Isabel (Salma Hayek), a woman living on the streets and convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is nothing but a computer simulation. Doubtful at first, Greg eventually discovers there may be some truth to Isabel’s wild conspiracy. First, Greg (Wilson) struggles to stay focused on life after a divorce, which causes him to lose his job. Upon the loss of his job, he meets a strange character (Hayek) in a bar, and this begins to blur the line of fiction and reality. Although the alternative reality is playing out in front of our eyes, Greg begins to see that what he is being made to believe isn’t real by Isabel is real, and it has consequences to the actions.

"The Theory Of Everything." Eddie Redmayne met with Stephen Hawking only once before filming. "In the three hours I spent with him, he said maybe eight sentences," recalls Redmayne. "I just didn't feel like I could ask him intimate things." Therefore, he found other ways to prepare for the role. He lost about 15 pounds and trained for four months with a dancer to learn how to control his body. He met with 40 ALS patients, kept a chart tracking the order in which Hawking's muscles declined, and stood in front of a mirror for hours on end, contorting his face. Lastly, he remained motionless and hunched over between takes, so much so that an osteopath told him he had altered the alignment of his spine. "I fear I'm a bit of a control freak," Redmayne admits. "I was obsessive. I'm not sure it was healthy."

As we begin to see Greg unravel deeper into this despair, Isabel tests his sanity and relationship with his daughter. Greg starts to put the pieces together, which causes Isabel to lose her mind and attempt to trap him into the world she has created.
Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson star in BLISS Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Amazon Studios
Generally, when you associate the style of movies with Owen Wilson, it is a comedy but has had some fantastic turns in drama films (Wonder, Midnight in Paris). Wilson is brilliant in this film and gives one of the best performances of his career. I was sold on an emotional level of which he was given within his words. Wilson had some help with his co-star in Salma Hayek, who was equally electric in the film. The pair are a delight to watch on the screen during their journey within their respective roles during the good and bad times.

"King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword." Charlie Hunnam had lost 20 pounds for the last season of Sons of Anarchy (2008). During auditions, director Guy Ritchie was very bothered by his look, though he liked his performance, and asked him four times during the process about his poor physique. Hunnam said that when Ritchie brought up the fourth time, he told Ritchie, "Look, dude, you keep bringing this up, the physicality. It's obviously your primary concern. So if you want to do away with all this auditioning bollocks, I'll fucking fight those other two dudes. I know who they are. You can bring them both in here. I'll fight them both. The one who walks out the door gets the job." Hunnam won the role.

Beyond the performances and the wild ride the writers bring us through, Will Bates’s score is a delight to hear and how the highs and lows are enhanced because of the sounds he provides us. Another standout was Markus Forderer’s beautiful cinematography.

For the most part, the movie clicks on all cylinders. I did have an issue with the length of the film. While it only has a run time of an hour-forty, it still feels like around the second and third act could have had some trimming to put those pieces together better.

"Pulp Fiction." The shot of Vincent plunging the syringe into Mia's chest was filmed by having John Travolta pull the needle out, then running the film backwards.Watch carefully and you'll see a mark on Mia's chest disappear when she's revived.

Lastly, we have this crazy race to the finish ending unfolding in front of our eyes. Because of the nature of the film, they put themselves in a little bit of a box. It was a little choppy on the delivery, but the landing stuck with a fantastic close to this crazy thrill ride.

The Verdict:


Rating: 4 out of 5.‘Owen Wilson delights as Bliss is a fun mind-bending thrill-ride.’