Retirement doesn’t bring loneliness; it brings time to think about loneliness. It is loneliness we all have to come to terms with somewhere down the line. Though, Felix (Richard Kind) is having a harder time than most. Without the perpetual stress of work fogging his glasses, Felix realizes that his marriage is failing, his daughter is all grown up, and that sweatpants are comfortable. He also realizes that his going away present is an artificial presence: a pair of glasses that comes with a pair of eyes, a pair of breasts and a nose. Auggie is her name, and comfort is her game. She’s a virtual beauty installed with the voice of reason and a smile along the lines of Grace Kelly. Only she isn’t real. Modest yet elegant, poignant yet understated, clunky yet clean; Auggie is filled with contradictions, and that’s the point.
“Modest yet elegant, poignant yet understated, clunky yet clean; Auggie is filled with contradictions…”
It’s a film about transitional stages by a director in a transitional stage. Previously responsible for a number of hit-or-miss shorts, Mathew Kane is making his feature debut. You wouldn’t know it from watching. His ideas aren’t new, but he finds new and mature ways of updating them. “Siri, show me the 2019 version of Her,” and this is what you get.
This isn’t Her, of course. Spike Jonze’s’ parable on screen addiction had, well, Spike Jonze. This has no such pleasure. It’s missing Jonze’s emotional nuance and Scarlett Johansson’s soothing voice. What it does have, however, is the warmth of a shared bed or the coldness of an empty one. Which is to say, it has the benefit of being a marital drama.