The Beast 2023

La bête

Directed by Bertrand Bonello Visions

Léa Seydoux and George MacKay’s fatal attraction endures across space and time in Bertrand Bonello’s audacious Lynchian reflection on love and obsession, mixing sci-fi, melodrama, and horror across three different time frames.

Aug 09

The Civic

Aug 15

Hollywood Avondale

France In English and French with English subtitles
145 minutes Colour / DCP
Offensive language & sexual references

Director, Screenplay


Justin Taurand, Bertrand Bonello


Josée Deshaies


Anita Roth

Production Designer

Katia Wyszkop

Costume Designer

Pauline Jacquard


Bertrand Bonello, Anna Bonello


Léa Seydoux, George MacKay, Guslagie Malanga, Dasha Nekrasova, Martin Scali, Élina Löwensohn


Venice, Toronto, New York, London 2023; Rotterdam 2024


Love in the time of AI. Léa Seydoux and George MacKay are star-crossed lovers chasing and escaping each other in different times and on different sides of the fence of attraction in Bertrand Bonello’s mesmerizing adaptation and expansion of Henry James’ novella The Beast in the Jungle.  

The Beast frames Gabrielle (Seydoux) and Louis (MacKay) meeting at three different moments in time, in 1910, in 2014 and in 2044. The future setting, playing out in a deserted Paris eerily devoid of human presence, provides the conceptual catch: in times to come, to better perform in life and work, humans will be able to purify their DNA from burdensome sediments of memories and previous lives. Call it the high-tech version of a lobotomy. As Gabrielle is reluctantly about to undergo the procedure, she incidentally meets the weirdly familiar Louis. Because indeed, the two had met in previous incarnations: at the time of the Great Flood of Paris, as aristocrats who fail to admit the reciprocal enamourment, and in present days LA, as an actress housesitting a villa and an incel bound to take revenge on women.  

Venturing in thematic and narrative territories close to Cronenberg and Lynch, Bonello forges a seductive triptych that is both elegant and edgy, cerebral and desperately romantic. An instant classic of auteur cinema hurling an unforgettable cry for love. — Paolo Bertolin 

“Léa Seydoux and George MacKay play thwarted lovers over three different lifetimes in The Beast, but I wouldn’t describe Bertrand Bonello’s unsettling feature as a romance. It tries out different genres, from period drama to science fiction, but it’s closest in spirit to a horror movie. This is acknowledged by the opening scene, in which Seydoux steps out onto a green-screen set to enact being threatened by a monster that will be added in post. An off-screen voice guides her through the blocking and directs her to her mark. Can she pretend to be afraid of something that isn’t there? She can, and she does, producing a show of animal panic as an ominous score strikes up and the camera closes in to capture her wild eyes. The power of her fear makes it an eerie sight, even knowing there’s no actual threat – an idea that The Beast echoes and remixes as it leaps from period to period and mode to mode, flinging its characters together in different doomed scenarios.” — Alison Willmore, Vulture