Advantageous is a beautiful film. Every frame is a work of art. It’s visually stunning in every possible way and worth seeing for that alone.
This science fiction drama is slow and quiet and doesn’t have a lot of exciting action. Yet, it vibrates with fear and tension in the quiet moments. It’s a film about hard choices. How does a mother give her daughter a chance at success in a world full of both extreme wealth and extreme hardship?
Advantageous, which took the SXSW Special Jury Prize for Collaborative Vision, will be streaming on Netflix starting June 23. The film is from writer and director Jennifer Phang.
I first became interested in this sci-fi drama when I read Emily Yoshida’s SXSW report about it in The Verge. Here’s how she described the film at the time:
[Advantageous] was the first sci-fi film I had seen at the festival, as well as the first genre film in general. It’s a quiet, deliberately paced story of a woman, her daughter, and a medical procedure with philosophical implications worthy of a Black Mirror Mother’s Day special. Gwen (Jacqueline Kim, who also co-wrote the film) is a spokeswoman for a new-fangled body-swapping procedure, who must undergo the procedure herself in order to keep her job and be able to ensure a good future for her daughter, Jules (Samantha Kim). It’s moody and specific and is a rare sci-fi film to nail its human emotion — particularly the mother-daughter relationship at its center — just as expertly, if not more so, as its more lofty philosophical questions.
According to the film’s Facebook page, Jennifer Phang received the award for Best Director, and the film won in three other categories at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival.
The film will be released in some 20+ languages and will include a version with Jennifer Phang giving director’s commentary on some of the topics explored in the film.
I’m looking forward to the film. It looks very good.
I appreciate Netflix for making the deal to stream Advantageous and for backing the recent Grace and Frankie and other female-based content.