Amazon Studios has been beefing up its slate of films to release on Prime, especially in the wake of theater closures due to coronavirus. One of its most intriguing upcoming releases is Bliss, a romantic sci-fi film starring Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek and directed by Another Earth's Mike Cahill.
Entertainment Weekly had a first look at the upcoming film, which features Wilson as the newly divorced Greg who meets Isabel (Hayek), a mysterious homeless woman who believes that the world is a "computer generated illusion." Greg soon finds that there might be something to Isabel's hypothesis and soon finds himself skipping between realities. This complicates his relationship with Isabel as well as with his daughter, Emily (Nesta Cooper). "This becomes the major dramatic tension of the film," explained Cahill in a statement. "Whose version of reality is real, Isabel's or Emily's?"
"I wanted to tell a story about the fragility of the mind and the malleability of our perception," Cahill continued. "I particularly wanted to make a film that treated different ways of seeing the world with compassion and empathy, as opposed to judgement. To me this is an important bridge of connection humans need and I felt like I had a way to dramatize this idea and make it fun, exciting, thrilling, all while retaining its emotional potency."
In a time when people are particularly isolated and disconnected, this film feels remarkably prescient. The trailer shows definite shades of influence of films like The Matrix, with Greg losing time and himself by constantly switching between the competing realities. Wilson is best known for his comedic roles like Wedding Crashers and Zoolander, so it will be interesting to see him flex his more dramatic muscles in Bliss.
Wilson is set to have a big year in 2021, starring in frequent collaborator Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch and having a significant and mysterious role in Marvel's Loki series on Disney+. Hayek is also making the jump to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as part of Eternals, playing the team of immortal warriors' leader Ajak. To quote Wilson himself, "wow." Bliss will be available to stream on Amazon Prime on Feb. 5.