I know we've only just turned our calendars to 2024, but Amazon Prime Video is inviting us to fast-forward all the way to 2065 for its latest high-profile addition. Much like Saltburn, which has taken streaming by storm, Foe is an Amazon MGM Studios film that released in cinemas in 2023, but is now streaming on Prime Video. That's an impressively quick turnaround.
Also like Saltburn, Foe is a really divisive movie. Some people found it really thought-provoking and original, while others didn't gel with it at all. That's reflected in its ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, a respectable 65% audience score, but a disastrous 25% from critics.
Despite the mixed reception, it's a universal truth that the film's leads, Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan are superb. Writing in The Observer (in a 3-star review) Wendy Ide was full of praise for the performers, saying "Mescal and Ronan are captivating: her watchful, raw-nerved longing; his stinging sense of betrayal." The New York Times echoed this, saying the two Irish actors "have such presence and chemistry that it’s possible to believe in their intimacy... and even to pretend in the moment that they have full-fledged characters to play".
These are two of the brightest young stars in Hollywood and both have been Oscar-nominated in the past (Ronan an incredible 4 times!) so I'd argue it's worth tuning in to take in their performances if nothing else. Director Garth Davis has excellent pedigree too, having directed 2016's Lion a superb film which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
So what's the film's premise? Let me explain. In the year 2065, Hen and Junior live an isolated life in the prairie, miles from civilisation. Married from a young age, the two have clearly lost the spark in their relationship, but when a mysterious government official approaches them with a space-faring mission for Junior, it's revealed Hen will be stuck on earth with an AI-powered replica of him.
Comparisons have been made to Black Mirror but I'd argue that's no bad thing, and with the star power on show, if you already have a Prime Video subscription, why not take a chance on Foe?