‘Vortex’ Review: Gaspar Noé’s Split-Screen Drama Is a Surprisingly Grounded Variation on ‘Amour’

Gaspar Noé is the kind of mad scientist filmmaker whose very name invites expectations of provocative experimentation.

“Vortex,” which closes in at 142 minutes and spends almost all of them in split screen, would appear to be consistent with that trend.

Yet this quiet, slow-burn look at an elderly couple suffering from dementia and other ailments is a grounded, emotional variation of “Amour,” as well as the .A world apart from the dazzling psychedelic rides of “Climax” and “Enter the Void,” Noé’s latest doesn’t always justify the formalist gimmicky at its center, but it doesn’t overplay the gimmick, either.

A world apart from Mike Figgis’ “Timecode” or anything in Brian De Palma’s oeuvre, “Vortex” introduces its split screen within the opening minutes and simply lets it sit there as a statement on the dueling life stories at its center.These belong to an unnamed couple, one played

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