Follow TV Tropes


Film / Oxygen

Go To

Oxygen (Oxygène in French) is a 2021 French Science Fiction thriller directed by Alexandre Aja and starring Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Amalric and Malik Zidi.

A woman wakes up in a pod hooked up to various medical devices. With no memory and with only the help of the pod's AI system, she has approximately 100 minutes to solve her rapidly decreasing oxygen levels before she asphyxiates.

The film was released on Netflix on May 12, 2021.


Tropes in this film include:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Liz (or her original self, anyways) was born on January 3, 2003, and obviously, Liz looks to be nearing middle age. Given the original Liz turns out to be an old woman by the time of her clone's oxygen crisis, the main story likely takes place in the second half of or in the late 21st century.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Downplayed. MILO isn't actually a self-thinking AI, but rather Cryosalide's company equivalent of Alexa or Siri. He's helpful... provided Liz knows what to ask him, and when he becomes trouble for Liz, it's because of safety protocols and failsafes meant to protect Liz in other situations.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: The plot of the story.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Liz's call with the old woman ends with her being raided by the police for She Knows Too Much.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bottle Episode: Nearly the entire movie takes place in Liz's pod, and just features her talking to MILO.
  • Cloning Blues: After realizing she's a clone, Liz becomes upset, believing that she is suffering because her makers saw her as expendable.
  • Crapsack World: The Earth is suffering from a deadly virus pandemic and an apparently unrelated sterility crisis, though the public doesn't know about the latter. The sterility crisis will lead to humanity's decline in two generations.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Liz is at risk of asphyxiating to death, all confused and alone in a mysterious pod.
    • Other pods were damaged when an asteroid struck the ship, causing the clones inside them to be sent flying into space with various chunks of their body missing. At least they died in their sleep...
  • Driven to Suicide: After learning that the pod's outside is outer space, Liz decides to go through with opening her pod so that she can be with Leo again but at least free rather than trapped in the casket... but changes her mind at the last second when she realizes Leo may have been put in a pod as well.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Liz has MILO reroute the oxygen of the other damaged pods to hers, returns to hypersleep, makes it to the new world, and reunites with Leo.
  • "Eureka!" Moment:
    • Before opening her casket to whatever's outside, Liz remembers Leo being sealed up like she was, realizing that he must also be in a casket as well, leading to her trying to figure out where he is.
    • At the end, as the oxygen is under 1%, Liz realizes she can reroute the oxygen from the damaged pods to hers, which MILO promptly does.
  • Fake Memories:
    • The police claim to Liz that Go Mad from the Isolation, her stress, and her decreasing oxygen levels are causing her to misremember things, though it turns out they were gaslighting her.
    • Liz discovers that she's a clone and only 12 years old, and watches a video of the original Liz explaining memory transfer (or more accurately, copying memories). For a brief second, it also causes clone Liz to wonder if her love for Leo is real.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Before the Artifical Gravity is turned off, the instructions Liz gets on it explains it as switching off the pod's centrifugal forces. Centrifugal forces are well known for generating artificial gravity on spaceships and space stations.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Liz is confused as to whether she was being carried into a hospital or if she was one of the doctors carrying a patient. Turns out she was both.
    • When Liz remembers the rush to the hospital, other patients can be seen all bloodied. Like Leo, they're infected with the virus.
    • Liz remembers Leo and herself looking at a pregnancy test and reacting with concern and disappointment. Turns out there's a fertility crisis on Earth.
  • Gaslighting: Moreau tries to tell Liz that she's misremembering things (like the name of her mother being Isabelle and not Alice as she claims) and that Leo doesn't exist. Paranoid that Moreau is lying to her, is wasting her time, and isn't actually sending anyone to save her, Liz hangs up. She's right.
  • He Knows Too Much: The mission is top secret, as the public doesn't know that humanity will die out in two generations. When Liz calls the police, they deliberately try to keep her talking so to make her oxygen run out faster, as she can call anyone and thus risk revealing things to the public — this is also why the old woman gets raided by the cops after Liz calls her.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Remembering her mother's name, Liz has MILO call her so that she can hear her voice one last time before she dies. Extra salt on the wound goes to her mother reassuring her that she can be there to comfort her if she visits.
  • Jump Scare: Liz's hallucinations, and the corpse with a giant hole through its face when she sees the outside of her pod for the first time.
  • Literal Genie: MILO can do and answer almost anything, as long as Liz knows what to ask of him.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Liz calls her mother, who is confused by Liz's distraught behavior and tells her that she can come home to her.
  • Mercy Kill: If Liz can't solve her oxygen crisis, MILO has to administrate euthanasia on her per law from the United Nations. He attempts this near the end when the oxygen levels become critical, but Liz is able to remove her IV at the last second.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: After realizing that she's a clone, Liz has MILO play back her call with the old woman, who turns out to be the original Liz — this is how she knew who Liz was from her voice alone and explains some of the interesting things she said ("I know what I would do.").
  • Oxygen Meter: One of the screens in the casket shows this, along with MILO periodically informing Liz.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The old woman — later revealed to be the original Liz and the creator of the pods — decides to call back Liz to help her, even when this puts her own life on the line.
  • Sole Survivor: Liz was the only clone out of all the other damaged pods to survive the asteroid crash.
  • Sterility Plague: The Earth has been plagued by a sterility crisis. It is projected that humanity will die out in two generations, though the world's governments have kept this a secret from the public to prevent mass hysteria.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Liz hallucinates rats in her pod, and when she first learns of her oxygen crisis, she hallucinates suffocating to death.
  • Tidally Locked Planet: A variation. The new world is a planet larger than Earth with a revolution of 18 days. However, the sunny side is too hot and the dark side is too cold to be inhabited, but the border where they meet is perfect.
  • Wham Shot: Liz having MILO turn off her pod's UV screen filtration, leading to a Jump Scare of a corpse hovering over her window and a wide shot of the rocket, also revealing that the other pods have been damaged.
  • You Are Already Dead: The old woman warns Liz that if the oxygen levels fall below 2%, she won't have enough to be resuscitated. When it does reach that point, MILO tries to euthanize Liz, though she's able to evade it and bring her oxygen levels back up again.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Liz and the other clones are being sent to another planet to continue the human race while the Earth is ravaged by disease and depopulation. Liz also has this reaction when the original Liz's mother tells her she can come home to her.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: You wake up in a locked casket with no memory, surrounded by medical screens, hooked up to various devices, and your only companion is the casket's AI system. You are Almost Out of Oxygen and you have 100 minutes to figure out what's going on and solve it before you asphyxiate or get euthanized.