Felix and his wife Anne (Susan Blackwell) are growing apart “Scenes From a Marriage” style. “It’s not easy being married to you,” Anne tells him candidly. You can’t blame her. Felix has lost connection with reality, which spells trouble when Anne’s boss has more in mind than stuffing her bank account. Being home alone in your 60’s isn’t the same as being home alone when you’re ten. There’s no running around in your underwear like the good ole’ days. Despite having the perfect estate to do so, Felix spends his free time talking to his augmented reality Auggie. His reserve turns to wide-eyed astonishment at how much of him she understands, and how much of him she can satisfy (there are masturbating shorts!).
There are also consequences that come with technology. A recent study showed that we spend more time on screens than we do sleeping. We use computers for work, phones for conversations, and movies like this one to escape reality. Mr. Kane reminds us to snap out of it. When Anne finds out about her husband’s affair, Felix must come to terms with not only this spurious third party but with himself.
“…you will see a little bit of yourself in Felix.”
Auggie is at its best when Felix is vulnerable. The same goes for the actor playing Felix. Kind hasn’t been this good since A Serious Man. Venturing into even stranger territory here, he once again brings soul to his poor-soul role. Those long walks on the beach or in the forest with Auggie allow for Kane’s up-close-and-personal camera to investigate Felix’s ever-changing emotions.
The whole film feels up-close-and-personal. That’s because you will see a little bit of yourself in Felix. I wouldn’t check out the masturbating shorts on Amazon, but I can relate to that need to check-in—and check-up—with what’s happening on my phone. It’s true that much of our screen time can be avoided. In contradiction, Kane’s snapshot of digital enslavement should be seen on the biggest screen possible.
"…a pair of glasses that comes with a pair of eyes, a pair of breasts and a nose."