Monday 1 February 2021

Review: Bliss - Staring Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek


Review by Jon Donnis

Rarely do you watch a film, and as soon as it has finished you feel a strong need to re-watch the first 20 minutes. Bliss is one of those films. The reason why I point this out, is to really encourage you when you watch this film, to pay attention. Often with films that seemingly open quite slowly, you will find yourself messing on your phone, or perhaps making a cup of tea while telling your partner to "give you a shout" when it "starts proper". This film "starts proper" from virtually the opening scene, it also gives away the ending too if you really pay attention, blink and you'll miss it.

Let's first take a look at the synopsis.

"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."

My first complaint is not with the film itself, but with the promotion. For example this film is firmly marketed as a "sci-fi" film. Read the synopsis, watch the trailer, and your first thought is of some Matrix like reality film. And I do not think that that fairly describes the film. And since I mention the trailer, another huge complaint is that the trailer really spoils a lot of the film. It also in my opinion creates this "sci-fi" like edge to the film, that in reality is not what the film is about.

So now I have moaned about the promotion, the marketing etc, let me say how much I LOVED this film. Excellent performances from both Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson. The film is very well made, there is clever visual effects throughout the film, a lot of things to look out for in the background too if you choose to watch it a second time (you will). There is a distinct difference in filming between the "ugly" reality, and the "real" reality. Unfortunately the trailer totally spoils the "real" reality by showing it in the first second. Yet in the film about 50 minutes pass before you see it.

Despite the promotion, as I already said, at it's heart this is not a sci-fi film, and you will only really realise that towards the end, I wont spoil it, but I do think there is a chance that people will be disappointed if they expect some Matrix-like sci-fi film, that the trailer suggests, when in reality it is something much deeper.

The Good

The performances from Salma and Owen are both fantastic, and the filming and writing of the film is really good.

The Bad

The idiots who promoted this film, made the trailer, and in general have mislead the audience.


If you read this review before you watch the film, then do NOT watch the trailer below, watch the film with no pre-conception of what it is about, watch it and enjoy what will become a cult classic.

If you have seen it and are here to find out someone else's opinion, then watch the trailer, and see if you agree with what I have said.

I loved this film 9/10

Review by Jon Donnis