The good news is Advantageous is an excellent science-fiction movie; the bad news is it screens only on August 14. What makes this film great, which is also what made Alex Garland’s Ex Machina great, is it’s not about the future but our moment and the technological and economic forces that are shaping this moment.

In Advantageous, an employee, Gwen (Jacqueline Kim), of bio-tech corporation Center for Advanced Health and Living, is retired because she is too old (she is in her mid- to late-30s). The corporation is all about marketing, and middle-aged-looking women are just not marketable.

Gwen is a single mother, hardworking, and has a great résumé. But her job search is getting her nowhere at a time she badly needs a lot of money to send her daughter, Jules (Samantha Kim), to an exclusive school. If Jules does not get in, her future is fucked.

Our world is fast becoming like Gwen’s, which has no middle class, no employment insurance, and the near-total surveillance of private information and city streets. There is also a terrorist organization that’s rebelling against this rigid social order.

But Gwen is more concerned about her job than the bombs that occasionally erupt around her. Because a good job means everything (living on the streets or an apartment; going to the right school or no school), she makes the ultimate sacrifice for her daughter: She sells her soul completely to the corporation.

The film is beautiful, quiet, and has a really great performance by James Urbaniak (a regular in the cinema of Hal Hartley). You will love the explanation for the new subject of our coming post-labor-rights society: a transferee. recommended