Remainder. 2015. UK/Germany. Directed by Omer Fast. 97 min.
The feature debut by celebrated video artist Omer Fast is a striking, stylish adaptation of English novelist Tom McCarthy’s landmark 2005 novel. Set in London, the narrative kicks off when the anonymous protagonist (Tom Sturridge) is struck by a large object plummeting from the sky. When he comes to, he has no recollection of what happened, and a reparations settlement nets him millions of pounds. The man channels these resources toward creating preposterously ambitious reconstructions of his own dim memories, in the process raising a host of questions about the relationship between reality and simulation, the minute details essential to our perception of places and events, and the limits of artistic monomania. Fast, who has explored similar themes in his own work, adapts McCarthy’s idea-packed novel with lucidity and wit, and Sturridge is mesmerizing as an existential hero searching the void for a trace of meaning.