2011: #6 Contagion


Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Written by: Scott Z. Burns
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet
Distributer: Warner Bros.
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Date released: 9/9/2011
Date seen: 9/14/2011
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $135 Million
# of Oscar nominations: 0
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 7 (Art Direction, Score, Villain, Supporting Actress, Ensemble, Original Screenplay, and Underappreciated)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 1 (Underappreciated)

Though it was marketed as a thriller, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion is really a slick procedural which charts out exactly what is likely to happen in the event of a massive outbreak of a deadly disease. To accomplish all this Soderbergh has enlisted an all-star cast that has drawn comparisons to the Irwin Allen disaster films of the seventies. Of course the difference between this and other disaster film is that this is much more concerned with the sociology of a disaster than in its spectacle. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns have created a very plausible portrait of how government institutions, the media, and common people would react to such a crisis. The reaction of the common people is probably the most arresting, as we witness mob violence and mass hysteria on the streets over the course of the disaster and we see how irresponsible people in the media can fan these flames. Many people left the theater frightened of touching their faces, and I’ll certainly be thinking twice before dismissing the next disease scare as paranoid nonsense.
Full Review

#7 Year End Honors #5

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