Sunday, January 29, 2012

Contagion - DVD Review


Starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Ehle, John Hawkes, Bryan Cranston, Elliott Gould, Demetri Martin and Sanaa Lathan.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Steven Soderbergh is one of my favorite editors of a director. His stories are very succinct and compact, with nary a wasted scene. This 21st century Andromeda Strain warns us that, yeah, after a few overhyped diseases, there could still be a big one that hits and spreads.

We meet a couple, Mitch and Beth (Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow), but dearie-me, she has a cough. We all know what happens to pretty ladies who cough in movies. Just that quickly, Beth is gone, and Mitch is stunned. "Wait, what happened to her?" Dozens of people who came into contact with Beth drop dead. Mitch is fine.

There's a disease spreading quickly all over the world. Agents from the WHO (Marion Cotillard) and CDC (Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne) try to trace its origins, figure out how it started and how to stop it.

I like the use of several stars to tell the story. By having Paltrow die in the first ten minutes, we know no one is truly safe. This will really make you want to wash your hands when it's over.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

The final scene, where the genesis of the outbreak is shown, cemented, in my mind, the movie as a masterpiece. I was on a high for several hours after leaving the theatre.