Being an avid movie buff I find there is much to admire in Ex Machina, the directorial debut of author/screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later). From Oscar Isaac’s powerhouse performance as a shady, machismo Steve Jobs-type (in a perfect world he’d be a shoo-in for all major best supporting actor nominations come the end of the year) to little touches, like the fictional beer imbibed by Isaac’s character throughout the film, called “Keikaku” (which means “plan” or “scheme” in Japanese, a clever reference to some third-act plot developments), the film is chock-full of heady ideas and arresting imagery.
Perhaps the most important contributing factor to the success of the overall mood and look of the film is the setting. Taking place almost exclusively at Isaac’s character’s estate, the movie was filmed at the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway. Opened in 2007, the hotel’s rooms, which were conceived by the inimitable architects at Norwegian firm Jensen & Skodvin, are breathtaking examples of modern design. The sustainable architecture of this Scandinavian hotel was designed so that the interior mirrors the experience of the landscape — blurring the lines between inside and outside. To dig deeper go here.