a woman's head with half of her head as stars

A single woman discovers a radio signal she believes is proof of extraterrestrial life in Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of Contact. She has to prove herself and the existence of the signal for two hours. Put that scenario into a room with a clock. That is the antares paradoxes.

There is a small S.E.TI. group in Spain. She goes to work the next day and discovers that her equipment is broken and her father is in the hospital with only hours to live. She begins to receive a mysterious signal from space at that time and she is waiting her whole life for it.

Alex's setup alone is intriguing, but writer/director Luis Tinoco gives her a lot more to contend with, such as a sister who guilts her about her father. A colleague is quitting and her boss is sleeping while she discovers. There is only about an hour left before she loses control of the radio telescope. Alex must go through all the proper protocols to verify this would-be signal, calling in every favor she has left, burning bridges, and potentially ruining her life just because she believes in this so much.

Tinoco has cut back on a few powerful framing devices that help explain Alex's motivation. She does a video show where she poses questions and her father recorded videos of him in the hospital. The film takes pleasure in reminding the audience what the potential of this signal means to Alex, what she's giving up to be there, and the lengths she'll go for it.

The central question is also in common with Contact. The battle between science and religion was the subject of contact. The Antares Paradox deals with that in a way that's more graceful. Alex has to choose between what is possible and what is pragmatic as her situation gets worse. Work sacrificing something for is a question.

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The question comes to life because Trepat is fantastic as Alex, showing both wonder at her job and deep regret and sadness about the choices she has made. Alex isn't a character that seems to like herself, but she has a deep belief in what she's doing. All of this takes place in a single room with one actress.

Alex interacts with other people via video chat or telephone, but it's most of the time in this room The movie is almost propulsive because of the circumstances. A single-room drama could have been dull and boring. You feel her desperation at every second because it is basically told in real time like 24.

If The Antares Project was made by a studio with a big name star in the lead, it would be in the Oscar discussion. It is that well made and effective. It is also possible that it is about the universe. The film is going to be re-made on a bigger scale and I think it is my favorite film of Fantastic Fest.

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