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Theatrical Sanctuary (2023)

Jason_V

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Title: Sanctuary (2023)

Tagline: His game. Her rules.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Director: Zachary Wigon

Cast: Christopher Abbott, Margaret Qualley, Francisco Castaneda, Katie Young, Dominick Defilips, Rene Calvo, Danita Battle, Christian Casatelli

Release: 2023-04-06

Runtime: 96

Plot: Confined to a claustrophobic hotel room, the heir to a hotel empire and the dominatrix who has primed him for success become locked in a battle of wits and wills as he tries to end his relationship with her.

This is a very simple movie: two people, nearly one location and the mind games they play with one another. It's more than a little voyeuristic, possibly titillating, probably uncomfortable for most audiences...and utterly captivating.

As much as Sanctuary wants to make the audience believe it's about sex and will be graphic, it's not that salacious on any level. When we meet our characters Hal and Rebecca, they are playing out an erotic role play: Hal wants to be bossed around by Rebecca. As the movie progresses, we learn about both of them...their desires and who they pretend to be. There's a shift throughout the film for both of them. It's a wild ride, slow at times, but always riveting.

By the final scene, my brain knew where the story was going to end, but I convinced myself the movie didn't have the guts to go there. It does in glorious fashion and left me wanting a second chapter of this story. (The fact the action is confined to one apartment adds to the claustrophobic, "walls are closing in" feeling the movie is going for.)

Both Christopher Abbott and Margaret Qualley are more than up to carrying the subject matter and the story. They both inhabit their characters fully and understand who they are.

Recommended, but only for certain audiences. This is not for everyone.
 

Malcolm R

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Malcolm
Pretty limited release. It came out May 19, but has never been on more than 10 screens.

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Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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