Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Today I present for your consideration a movie directed by Steven Soderbergh (a great favorite of mine). It's called Contagion, and it's available on DVD (2011, rated PG-13).
Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) is returning to her home in the U.S. after a business trip to Hong Kong. She doesn't feel well, and by the time she arrives, she's definitely ill, and not just suffering from jet lag. Beth's husband, Mitch (Matt Damon), also must pick up his stepson from school because young Clark is sick.
Beth suddenly collapses and has a seizure. She's rushed to the hospital, where she dies. Mitch has difficulty comprehending that his wife has actually passed away, and when he returns home, the babysitter frantically tells him that she thinks Clark has just died.
Thus begins an infectious illness that quickly roams the world, seeking victims. Doctors work frantically to try to isolate the virus and develop a vaccine.
As the virus spreads, so does the panic. Adding to the fear is a very popular blogger (Jude Law), who insists that forsythia is the secret to recovering from the virus.
Crowds mob a pharmacy to obtain forsythia, and when they're told the forsythia has run out, they break the glass above the pharmacy counter in a desperate attempt to obtain help. Looting breaks out all over. Many police officers won't work; nurses go on strike because of the lack of protocol for treating the sick; chaos ensues.
I really like this movie. Soderbergh is a master at building tension, interspersed with moments of quiet kindness and bravery. The performances are excellent. It's practically an all-star cast with Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, and Marion Cotillard as doctors. The work to isolate the virus and the geometric rate at which it spreads is quite fascinating.
Contagion has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.
WARNING: If you are squeamish about illness and medical matters (Maggie), you won't want to watch this movie. You will see characters who foam at the mouth and have seizures. Even I felt a bit freaked out by a quick scene during which the medical examiner cuts off the top of pretty Gwyneth Paltrow's head while performing the autopsy on her character. This movie is definitely not for children.
Now that I've given you a warning, I must say that this movie is worth watching. I also want to tell you something about Steven Soderbergh that I find very interesting. He serves as his own cinematographer and actually edits the movie as he films it. Great, great director.
Dr. Ian Sussman: Blogging is not writing. It's just graffiti with punctuation.
I wish you all a pleasant weekend.
Infinities of love,
Thanks for the warning! PG-13 and they cut off the top of Gwyneth Paltrow's head!?! Yikes! I do like the idea of this film and it would be better for me to read it than watch it ;)ReplyDelete
I knew it wasn't for you, Mags.Delete
It sounds like a good movie!! Thank you for the review!ReplyDelete
You're welcome. It is good.Delete
Great review. I'm so behind in movie watching that I've finally decided to make a list going forward. Maybe that will help.ReplyDelete
My Netflix queue is my list. As soon as I hear about an interesting movie, I add it to the queue. That's why my queue has about 300 movies in it.Delete
I saw Contagion. It was a really good movie - but scary to think that something like that could really happen!ReplyDelete
It had me thinking a lot about the flu pandemic of 1918. Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly what that virus was.Delete
Didn't poor Gwyneth get her head cut off in another movie? I just looked it up. She did.ReplyDelete
I don't remember seeing any other Gwyneth head removals. Was her head chopped off completely in the other movie? In this one it's just the top of her head because it's an autopsy. I don't think I ever want to see a real autopsy.Delete
Completely. I don't want to give it away. I had a hard enough time dissecting frogs in 7th grade.Delete
"We" didn't dissect frogs till high school, but when I say we I don't mean me. I skipped bio for two weeks rather than dissect the frog. I forged an excuse. The teacher felt sorry for me cuz I'd been so sick and I passed. I never dissected anything.Delete
I read a book very much like that. By Robin Cook, if I remember right. But worse, several years ago when there was a lot of concern about a flu pandemic, I attended some meetings with emergency personnel, homeland security, and the CDC. Those folks were expecting something very much like you're describing. So much so, one of the emergency management directors used a good portion of the money he got from homeland security to buy hundreds of body bags. It's probably best the public didn't know about the things we discussed.ReplyDelete
Happy weekend, kiddo!
I'm glad I didn't know about the body bag purchase. In the movie, they do run out of body bags.Delete
Going to put this on our list of movies to see; sounds intriguing!! Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
You're welcome. I'm glad I made it sound interesting because it definitely is.Delete
For someone who doesn't have a DVR player, I'm going to hope it's on Netflix. I've wanted to see that movie for a year, but Stud hates going to the theater.ReplyDelete
Wake up and go to Wal-Mart and get a DVD player for $40. I don't think Contagion is on instant play. I think you have to watch in on DVD. Seeing all those sick people will help you feel better.Delete
It sounds like the type of movie hubby would like more them me........ReplyDelete
You don't really seem to have time for movies anyway. You always have so much family stuff going on.Delete
Well, as long as it's all fiction... I don't mind a good scare. So excuse me while I'm off to amazon.ReplyDelete
Enjoy the weekend. :)
It had better be fiction when they saw off the top of Gwyneth Paltrow's head for an autopsy.Delete
Maybe it was a stand-in? ;) I love Gwyneth Paltrow. I'm not sure I want to see her head sawn off.Delete
I watched this movie, and I definitely liked it very much. It freaked me out some, but it was great.ReplyDelete