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Contagion

September 12, 2011

By John Leavengood

MY CALL: I really liked Outbreak, but this simply blew it out of the water!  If movies were rated based on the seriousness of their content, this would be the “R” to Outbreak’s “PG.” This gets a solid “A+” without question and I imagine that this will be an Academy Award nominee for set design and music, if not more.  IF YOU LIKE THIS, WATCH:  Outbreak (1995).

I’ll just start by saying “WOW!”  Sure, this movie had a legion of A-listers including an excellent director, yet still this  movie exceeded my already high expectations.  While its pace was consistently somewhat slow, the content, in turn, was  consistently interesting, socially revealing and gripping.

This movie follows the outbreak of a novel and swiftly lethal virus from patient zero.  With a short incubation period,  the highly contagious strain raises the CDC’s concern readily ensued by the panic of the masses.  The medical community scrambles in a losing race against time as the numbers of infected and dead patients grow at a staggering pace.  Controversy, capitalism, distrust…all are likely products of slowly-solved epidemics.

The cast flawlessly conveys the very best and worst of human qualities responding to a deteriorating society and economy.  Panic, desperation, fear and altruism are all tactfully delivered with humbling realism.  Adding to the already palpable emotions of the characters was the tension-setting music which, coupled with the concept of this movie, shall haunt my thoughts.  More than once I questioned how I would react in these situations.

FUN FACTS:  This movie features Matt Damon, Gwenyth Paltrow and Jude Law, who were all in The Talented Mr. Ripley.  Matt Damon and Elliott Gould, both of whom starred in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s franchise, were reunited for their fourth film together.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Janette Vogel permalink
    September 12, 2011 8:12 am

    Thanks, John, for this review. I wasn’t going to see it because I thought it was jus another “Outbreak” and probably not done as well. After reading your post, I’m looking forward to it coming out on DVD so I can watch it from the comfort of my home!

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