Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Screenplay by Iain Reid and Garth Davis

Directed by Garth Davis

An Amazon Studios production

Released through Transmission Films

Screening in Australia from November 2


Previewed by Len Power 19 October 2023


“Foe”, the new film by director, Garth Davis, is a very different film from his earlier film, “Lion” but, like its predecessor, poses persistent questions about the nature of humanity.

In 2065, in a Mid West that looks very much like barren outback Australia but is not specified, a couple live in isolation from an uncertain and troubled world. Late at night, a stranger shows up at their door with a startling proposal that has the potential to change their quiet existence forever.

Based on the novel by Iain Reid, this atmospheric film with its haunting imagery of a dystopian world, focuses on the relationship between these two people, Hen (Saoirse Ronan) and Junior (Paul Mescal), and the turmoil that the stranger, Terrance (Aaron Pierre) brings into their lives.  The couple’s relationship seems already uneasy but the stranger’s presence and his proposal tests them even further, bringing out hidden jealousies, fears and rage.

The subtle changes in the couple’s relationship, caused by the stranger’s proposal, are puzzling.  We want to know more about them and their reactions to what is happening than the story for some time allows.  The stranger seems somehow more in control and a threat, even though he is charming and friendly.  There must be more going on than we are being shown.

Saoirse Ronan (Hen) and Paul Mescal (Junior)

Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal portray a couple who clearly love each other but who have troubling aspects to their relationship that have the potential to tear them apart.  Much of what is conveyed about the couple is through their body language as much as the words spoken.  The actors give subtle, highly detailed performances, making them very real.

Aaron Pierce as Terrance, the stranger, also gives a finely detailed performance of a man who is in control but who may or may not be what he seems.

Aaron Pierce (Terrance)

The production design of this film by Patrice Vermette creates a strange, almost dreamlike world of the future that is very impressive.  Filmed in Victoria, Australia, certain exterior shots appear to have been made on the west coast of South Australia.

This deliberately paced film cleverly draws you into this couple’s isolated future world and the mystery of the stranger’s proposal. The questions raised about the nature of humanity (including artificial humanity) are intelligently realized, making us question the effect on humanity that we already are seeing in this increasingly technological world.


Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at