Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

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Zumpano
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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#26 Post by Zumpano » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:35 pm

WOW. Great poster. And IMAX?

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#27 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:54 pm

Luckily I don't live in any of those places! Phew!

Looking at the cast list it is also nice to see Jennifer Ehle in there (I guess still best known for her Elizabeth Bennett in the 1990s BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice that also featured Colin Firth, but who I think was also particularly good in the titular role in Alan Bleasdale's adaptation of Melissa), plus Sanaa Latham who made for a very plucky heroine in the otherwise slightly iffy Alien Vs Predator film.

Plus Elliott Gould!

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#28 Post by Grand Illusion » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:21 am

Looks like 28 Days Later, minus zombies. I'll definitely see it.

I don't understand the poster though. It's not a disaster movie unless Los Angeles is in immediate peril.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#29 Post by knives » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:24 am

It is a disaster movie, but instead of UFOs it's disease.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#30 Post by hollyharry » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:48 am

knives wrote:It is a disaster movie, but instead of UFOs it's disease.
He knows.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#31 Post by knives » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:54 am

knives wrote:I'm always wrong on the Internet.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#32 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:46 pm

Contagion, Soderbergh's best film since 2005's Bubble, is a wonderful melding of Soderbergh's established aesthetic approach and a disaster film, the end result being an (necessarily) emotionally cold and distant look at a scenario would could easily reach maudlin or cloying heights in the hands of a lesser director. It's that objective touch that will undoubtedly prevent many viewers from engaging with the film, but Soderbergh isn't interested in the easy emotions but rather the procedure, the elements in play as the situation pans out. Indeed, until he throws the audience a very cute bone with a scene near the end of the film, the film is almost devoid of anything approaching heart. But so what? Watching the film unfold is like reading a gloriously investing academic paper-- the ideas are so compelling, the execution so witty and well-done, that to develop attachments to those depicted is missing the point... there's a reason so many names are cast, because without recognizable faces bringing preexisting recognizability, most viewers would have an even harder impasse towards investment in the proceedings. Yes, this is yet another of Soderbergh's wonderful slight of hands on mainstream audiences, but it also encapsulates his editing stylistics and compositions at the height of his effectiveness: Contagion is a film that offers so much of what Soderbergh does best that it's just a breathless joy to see all the horrors on-screen play out with such swift and sure execution.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#33 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:59 pm

I liked this film quite a bit too (though I wouldn't say that the "best since" goes back farther than The Informant! for me) and I found it to be a noble piece of social commentary in addition to the tense thriller that it's advertised to be. In an era where hollywood liberalism always conjures up images of conspiracy theories and the kind of shit Oliver Stone might crank out, Soderbergh creates a film that every Jenny McCarthy and @PeanutFreeMom should be sat down and forced to see. Making heroes out of those attempting to contain such a horrible thing and calling into question someone like Jude Law's character is a brave thing to do in this day and age. I got rather choked up when
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the two scientists put the vaccination they'd created into cryogenic storage along with vaccinations past
and I think that people should really take a look at a history book before they try to demonize those who have taken brave, selfless, and incredibly complex measures to contain potentially human existence-threatening diseases.

On the plot side of things, the film runs hot and cold in terms of pace - sometimes moving along at a breakneck speed that feels more like a multinational panic attack than a film, and sometimes stopping for astute observations of what goes right and what goes wrong in a crisis, particularly in America - without making hokey villains out of anyone in positions of power. The only plotline that didn't work for me, and ultimately takes a point or two away from my ultimate grade for the film, if I were giving one, is Marion Cotillard. Not only is the actual meat of her plot rather unbelievable to me (especially when a long break is taken from it and then we're reminded that it still exists, and it's still ridiculous), her performance leaves a lot to be desired. I have a feeling that Soderbergh directed his actors to be as low-key as possible throughout the filming of this, but she really cannot deliver any sense that she is truly feeling emotion in the face of anyone else's (or her own) danger and misery. Matt Damon and Kate Winslet were the standouts, they truly played this with everything they had, and it shows on screen. It's certainly a film that begs to be revisited, but oh my goodness, it is tough to imagine sitting through it again (and I mean that in as complimentary a way as I can!)
Last edited by mfunk9786 on Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#34 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:40 pm

Re: Cotillard
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I think the Cotillard plotline is there to show that these organizations at the helm of these crises are not completely Christ-like, as the decision to provide the placebos is knowingly going to end the lives of some of those last in line for the vaccines-- but the realization of this causes Cotillard to bolt, thus preserving the overall positive portrayal of the system. I do agree that she disappears from the story for too long and hers is the least-interesting thread of the main characters.
I thought the film did a good job of selling the everyday terrors of the scenario, such as in when one character reveals something he shouldn't and the gossip spirals out at the same r-naught as the virus. Mob violence runs rampant in all too likely situations, for as much as we like to think of ourselves post-9/11 as We're All In This Together, it's really still every man for himself.
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One of my favorite moments is Damon's daughter sleeping soundly while he looks out her window and spies thieves across the street executing an entire family, indicated only by the flash of the guns-- his protection of her is great, and leads to the welcome laugh at the end of the film in that sweet sequence where that boy she likes shows up and reveals his wristband for entry.
Also, it has to be said: Bonus points for the film avoiding NYC, the most cliched, go-to locale for an event like this to unfold.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#35 Post by knives » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:44 pm

The question is though did they go to Tokyo or Osaka both places being on equal footing with New York.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#36 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:57 pm

Tokyo is shown rather briefly at most, and Osaka is not (as far as I can remember).

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#37 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:04 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Making heroes out of those attempting to contain such a horrible thing and calling into question someone like Jude Law's character is a brave thing to do in this day and age.
That was the quality of the film I admired most. As far as these characters
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I think Jennifer Ehle was the most interesting, the driven scientist who, even after the great achievement in finding the cure, does not take the spotlight as savior but remains at work in the labratory while Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne act as the face of progress. I found Fishburne's resolution with helping John Hawkes' son to be a rather soft end for the character. He's too much of a bureaucrat for me to respond favorably towards while the scientists are the heroes, particularly Elliot Gould for ignoring the government redtape and getting a usable sample.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#38 Post by karmajuice » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:54 pm

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I found Fishburne's resolution with helping John Hawkes' son to be a rather soft end for the character.
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I thought this had something to do with Hawkes overhearing his telephone call. Fishburne is going to go in front of a hearing, and he's more likely to come out unscathed if the janitor stays quiet. I'm not sure how much it helps him at this point, but I couldn't figure any other reason why he'd be helping this kid in particular. Makes his motivation a little less noble.
I mostly agree with domino, mfunk, and the rest. I love how the film is concerned with process, investigating how these things start, how they're discovered, and how people react to them and fight them. Soderbergh has a very analytical eye, and his cutting style feels like a dissection: opening up the situation and picking through it and finding what he needs to show us. His visual sense is also suited to the subject matter; I cannot fathom Debruge's comment about the film's cinematography, because the film positively gleams with medical sharpness and bureaucratic polish.

I have to disagree with domino on one point, though. The film is intensely humanistic throughout, and while Soderbergh definitely keeps his distance, this approach enhances the sincerity of the emotions we see. He never indulges in shortcuts or emotional excess, but sometimes he steps away from the virus hubbub and focuses his attention on humane gestures and the pain of loss. They are brief, but they punctuate the characters' stories and harmonize with what we've seen before. Winslet's moment
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with the jacket is the one which hit me hardest, and it demonstrates what I mean: this gesture is a summation of her character; we see here the heart of her commitment, which is what drives her story.
The ending deserves mention. I'll just say this: it is such a Soderbergh thing to do, and it is also absolutely perfect.

This film also has me wanting to see a Wire-style show that tracks the progress of a disease and all the various political/social/economic elements in meticulous detail. The film is excellently made, but it's the tip of the iceberg. A show several season long could do some fascinating things with such material.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#39 Post by Brian C » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:23 pm

karmajuice wrote:I mostly agree with domino, mfunk, and the rest. I love how the film is concerned with process, investigating how these things start, how they're discovered, and how people react to them and fight them. Soderbergh has a very analytical eye, and his cutting style feels like a dissection: opening up the situation and picking through it and finding what he needs to show us. His visual sense is also suited to the subject matter; I cannot fathom Debruge's comment about the film's cinematography, because the film positively gleams with medical sharpness and bureaucratic polish.
I agree with all this too, but only up to the point where
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the vaccine is discovered.
Inevitably, this takes a lot of the wind out of the movie's sails, and I thought the sense of urgency was lost. Soderbergh and Burns skip a lot of the logistics of how panic was unwound,
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we see the lottery but everything seems to more or less go back to normal overnight.
Along those lines, I think that the Damon storyline could have withstood a bit more of Soderbergh's analytical eye. He was basically the only everyday citizen in the movie, but his story was very shortchanged. For example,
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he's in line for MREs, but misses out, and a riot ensues. Great, and very plausible, but how do he and his daughter eat? By what means do they survive? I'm not saying that the movie had to turn into a remake of The Road, but it seemed odd that, the daughter's very mild cabin fever aside, things seemed OK for them, despite the lawless terror and desperate shortages that were all around.
Last edited by Brian C on Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#40 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:46 pm

I watched this last night and enjoyed it very much. Thanks to all who wrote so well here about the film. Initially, my enthusiasm was dampened by some reviews complaining about the film, but I'm glad I saw it as this was a superb example of cinematic craft. I liked the globalised nature of the storytelling in particular. (A bit of a variation on the nature of global threat that I enjoyed in Carlos.) I think that the complaints about the off-putting lack of emotional nuance in the acting are misplaced. Granted, I understand that with talent the caliber of Winslet, Fishburne, Damon, and Law one would expect their usual brand of excellence. But I enjoyed that they more modestly played their characters to dial down what the usual disaster film cliches would demand in terms of hysteria and over-emoting. I appreciated that to further cool down the emotions, Soderbergh sets the film during winter. Martinez' score also helped the film move along. It provided the pulse that I guess other viewers missed while hoping for other thrills. (The medical examiners with Paltrow being the exception.) While "craft" and "workmanlike" might sound like faint praise, I found it incredibly appropriate. Never did my attention wander nor did I feel unchallenged. The last half after the vaccine is developed does flag as someone else here mentioned, but every thread was tied up well so I don't hold it against the story too much. It'll be awhile before I stop hearing Kate Winslet in my head talking about germs, though.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#41 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:01 pm

This film is OK but I don't think it reaches the heights of Traffic. It feels more like the best Robin Cook adaptation ever made, albeit most of Robin Cook's novels deal with thriller-style subplots of bad guys spreading diseases or covering them up. I was a little surprised that in Contagion there was little made of the feeling of being at the epicentre of an outbreak - the feeling of guilt for spreading a disease so wide, or whether people (say the parents of the kids at Damon's son's primary school who died) could start blaming or attacking the Emhoff family for introducing the disease. I suppose there is no clear link for people to do that kind of finger pointing before things move from being covered up to prevent panic to the full scale rioting, but it might have raised a set of moral issues that the film somewhat glosses over in the relatively quick jump from the tussle with the funeral home accepting an infectious body directly to mass graves.

I'm ambivalent about this film, having a lot of nit-picky issues with feeling slightly pushed towards being asked to feel one particular emotion towards each character based around certain specific actions they commit (Jennifer Ehle being noble; Winslet being cold and unemotional but redeeming herself with the final moment of trying to hand her coat over; Damon's daughter being in the 'silly teen' mode of the daughter in Traffic - too interested in being led astray by boys to take care of herself; Cotillard seemingly setting up a school to teach the village children in her spare time while held for ransom), although I get the feeling that it is in the nature of these kinds of films to reduce characters to archetypes.

However there are also a few characters that develop in an interesting way, particularly Fishburne wrestling with his conscience and his (understandable albeit punishable) failure to follow protocol when people he cares about are at stake and Damon's over protectiveness in the face of losing half of his family at one fell swoop. Even Jude Law's blogger, despite a horrific accent, has some fascinating material to deal with. Although in painting him purely as a dangerous paranoid delusional obsessed with money and celebrity, the film gives an easy get out clause to the authorities when perhaps a more even handed approach towards 'new media' and the internet in general (and the placebo-like use of homeopathic medicines, something which could have resonated much more strongly with the placebo's delivered by a 'trustworthy' organisation to Cotillard's kidnappers later on) would perhaps have worked more effectively and raised bigger issues than just boiling down the debate to one kook bragging about his slightly suspicious 'twelve million unique hits'. Something which itself could have resonated with Winslet's over-egged 'we touch our face millions of times each day' speech earlier in the film.

Talking about 'matching pairs' of scenes, which is a wonderful aspect of the film, another one that I particularly liked was the doomed Winslet in the hi-tech isolation suit to chat to Damon, while the relatively untouched Cotillard in Hong Kong has to make do with the hairnet and duct tape around rubber gloves method of contact!

I did particularly like that the paranoid blogger subplot involved a number of scenes, including the betrayal one, taking place in the distinctive park at San Francisco's City Hall where the betrayal ending of the 1970s Invasion of the Body Snatchers was shot. Donald Sutherland's character in that film is, of course, a restaurant health inspector!

With the addition of Law's character, the Fishburne warning to his wife and the sketching in Paltrow affair subplot (and the daughter running off to be with the boyfriend) the film seems to be sketching in the idea of individualism outside of an agreed framework bad, individualism within an organisation (as with Gould's character breaking the rules, Ehle testing her vaccine on herself) good, something which I'm not sure that I entirely subscribe to.

My favourite parts of the film however have to do with Gwyneth Paltrow's character - the flashbacks bringing a long dead character continually if briefly back to life and the 'interrogation of an image' sections with Cotillard's character looking through the security camera tapes are some of the best parts of the film. I also cheekily wonder if it would be difficult to imagine that Soderbergh did the whole film just so that he could be the voice on the end of the telephone of the guy that Paltrow's character is talking to about their affair at the opening of the film?

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#42 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:12 pm

colinr0380 wrote:Although in painting him purely as a dangerous paranoid delusional obsessed with money and celebrity, the film gives an easy get out clause to the authorities when perhaps a more even handed approach towards 'new media' and the internet in general (and the placebo-like use of homeopathic medicines, something which could have resonated much more strongly with the placebo's delivered by a 'trustworthy' organisation to Cotillard's kidnappers later on) would perhaps have worked more effectively and raised bigger issues than just boiling down the debate to one kook bragging about his slightly suspicious 'twelve million unique hits'.
I thought the film treated him with fewer broad strokes than you do, it seems. I appreciated the fact that his paranoia was in some sense justified (or at least he had one of those broken clock moments) when he rightly brought the impending pandemic to the mainstream media's attention and was basically laughed at. And he was right. Much of what followed seemed pretty organic for people with similar attitudes and a similar almost fanatical belief in their own rightness/righteousness. The same unquestioning belief in one's own opinions that made him right about the coming pandemic also made him wrong about both his supposed cure and the government's true motives.
colinr0380 wrote:I'm ambivalent about this film, having a lot of nit-picky issues with feeling slightly pushed towards being asked to feel one particular emotion towards each character based around certain specific actions they commit (Jennifer Ehle being noble; Winslet being cold and unemotional but redeeming herself with the final moment of trying to hand her coat over; Damon's daughter being in the 'silly teen' mode of the daughter in Traffic - too interested in being led astray by boys to take care of herself; Cotillard seemingly setting up a school to teach the village children in her spare time while held for ransom), although I get the feeling that it is in the nature of these kinds of films to reduce characters to archetypes.
I disagree that these characters are just animated examples of a single idea or emotion. For instance, I never got any sense that Winslett needed to be redeemed. It was clear that her unemotional bearing was necessary for her to do her job properly (and it is) rather than being a flaw that needed last minute correcting. I like the way we're allowed to see her private doubts and fears as she talks to the Fishburn character over the phone (and the way he gives her unpersuasive reassurance), and also the way we see the extent to which she has dedicated herself to helping people (her final gesture being, not a redemptive action for a past lack, but a smaller version of the very feelings that animated her to put herself right in the middle of disease central in order to help everyone).

Also, did Cotillard set up the school or was one already there? There are often small schools set up in rural China that teach English and so forth. University students can often volunteer to work at them.

I did find the teenage daughter mishandled, tho'. It was another version of the 'stupid kid' plot device, and I have an easier time imagining that the fear of a horrible death--especially on the heels of the death of one's mother and brother--would override the desire to hang out with the local boy than I do imagining that the latter would override the former. Or at least make her Dad's rules far more understandable to her. But maybe that's because I know a lot of female germaphobes/purell addicts.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#43 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:54 pm

I think there was the slight get out clause with Damon's daughter in the scene where she sees him in isolation and he suggests that she go to her mothers, but she refuses and says he doesn't have anyone so she will stay with him. That suggests that Damon's wife and young son were more stepmother and stepbrother to the daughter, so she might not have had the same connection to them as Damon's character does. But that may just be my reaching for a way to make the daughter's return to tantrums and rule breaking in the face of an epidemic at the end of the film seem plausible in overriding her grief and fear of the disease.

I get the impression that we are more meant to be more concerned about Damon being far too overprotective due to his grief than the girl misbehaving, to then have that moment of the boy being allowed in the house at the end feel like he has started to come to terms with his loss and let his daughter live again rather than trying to control her. Yet Damon's character doesn't seem irrational in his fears after the rioting and gunshots he witnesses, so it muddles up the audiences responses to both of those characters. Like a lot in the film it is dealing with interesting material that deserves a more in depth treatment but seems to continually be skating over the surface of all the issues it raises when it really needs to go a lot deeper.

I'm not sure about Winslet - I can't help thinking that the brief scene at the airport was meant to show her reacting a little poorly to someone's casual chitchat and then it gets followed by the scene with the almost hysterical woman's reaction in the meeting, to which Winslet's character fails to really respond in any empathetic or calming way, instead retreating into piling on the facts and figures.

This gets contrasted with Fishburne almost trying to force Winslet out of that buttoned, bottled up persona and to express herself a few times, something which perhaps helps give her character help in dealing with the disease later on and neatly starts setting up Fishburne as perhaps being too over emotional in his approach to his work, as you suggest, by thinking too much of helping specific other people (feeling responsible for putting Winslet in danger; warning Sanaa Latham's character to leave Chicago; and eventually helping the janitor's son) rather than just helping people generally. However Fishburne's character, despite having to answer questions and presumably losing his job at the end of the film doesn't really suffer for helping other individuals, while Winslet's character seems to have to 'take a journey' from coldness to trying to hand that jacket over in her final moments.

Thinking about the Fishburne character, to go back to my argument in my previous post he seems more the individualistic hero figure that a more classical individualistic film would normally celebrate. In this film, while he is obviously a good guy, he is too far outside of the organisation due to his actions to be celebrated in the way that for example Jennifer Ehle's character is, or even Winslet's will be for her sacrifice (I would be interested to see how Contagion compares to some of those 1950s 'consensus building' films such as Panic In The Streets or Seven Days To Noon that show society swinging into action in the face of crises). Cotillard is a companion to Fishburne in a way, although she willingly ejects herself from the organisation at the end. However the film doesn't have much use for her at this point, or seemingly much interest in where she goes next. Which would be where her storyline would have gotten truly interesting.

The Cotillard teaching the village children English thing still feels contrived just illustrating it with that one brief, uncommented on shot. Though I agree with you Sausage that it can be explained away and presumably it is showing the character making the best of a bad situation and empathising with the plight of her captors and their village. Yet the film doesn't really deal with this material too explicitly. I guess I must have been hoping for a Patty Hearst-style enquiry into conflicted loyalties and perhaps Stockholm syndrome that the film either doesn't want to look at, or doesn't have time to go into in that kind of depth with.

My previous post might have come across as too down on Contagion. I don't think it is a terrible film, but perhaps that it covers so many fascinating areas interesting in themselves, and that really need a more detailed consideration.

A couple of other moments I liked: the idea that the film makes a big deal about people gathered together breathing and touching each other in close proximity and then we have that wonderful montage of 'the important people' all gathered together in groups in their boardrooms to hear the bad news! For some reason I found those silently shown gatherings highly amusing!

On a similar note of amusement I did like that one of the signs of society having collapsed among the usual kind of montage of silent, riot strewn streets appears to now includes a shot of empty gyms. Forget the cost to the economy of shutting down the airports to stop the spread of the disease - something must have gone badly wrong when the people aren't out exercising and the row of cross trainers are instead just standing there empty!
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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#44 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:35 pm

colinr0380 wrote:I'm not sure about Winslett - I can't help that the brief scene at the airport was meant to show her reacting a little poorly to someone's casual chitchat and then it gets followed by the scene with the almost hysterical woman's reaction in the meeting, to which Winslett's character fails to really respond in any empathetic or calming way, instead retreating into piling on the facts and figures.

This gets contrasted with Fishburn almost trying to force Winslett out of that buttoned, bottled up persona and to express herself a few times, something which perhaps helps give her character help in dealing with the disease later on and neatly starts setting up Fishburn as perhaps being too over emotional in his approach to his work, as you suggest, by thinking too much of helping specific other people (feeling responsible for putting Winslett in danger; warning Sanaa Latham's character to leave Chicago; and eventually helping the janitor's son) rather than just helping people generally. However Fishburn's character, despite having to answer questions and presumably losing his job at the end of the film doesn't really suffer for helping other individuals, while Winslett's character seems to have to 'take a journey' from coldness to trying to hand that jacket over in her final moments.
I suppose my problem is that the "coldness" to be made up for is rather thin and has no real consequences. There is really no point to her learning anything. I understood her final gesture not as a sudden realization of the benefits of empathy, but showing that whatever surface-level reserve she shows, she's a deeply compassionate person underneath. We have to remember that she's willing to put her life in danger in order to save people from a deadly pandemic. I think that latter fact probably shows more about her than a couple brusque moments or a lack of social skills. Plus, I sympathized with Winslett in the boardroom scene. That is one place where emotions should be on the back-burner considering what's at stake and what such a moment demands. Winslett's reaction was typical of a scientist. They are very good at assessing and dealing with situations, but not necessarily that good at understanding how that might be difficult for other people. I see this as a neutral observation, tho'.
colinr0380 wrote:The Cotillard thing still feels contrived to me with that brief shot. I agree with you Sausage that it can be explained away and presumably it is showing the character making the best of a bad situation and empathising with the plight of her captors and their village. Yet the film doesn't really deal with this material too explicitly. I guess I must have been looking for a Patty Hearst-style enquiry into conflicted loyalties and perhaps Stockholm syndrome that the film either doesn't want to look at, or doesn't have time to go into in that kind of depth.
It didn't bother me because it seemed like the kind of thing she'd do to pass time.

I guess for me I don't need the extra detail that you want. I like that this movie is like a series of snapshots of how different kinds of people deal with a horrible situation. That the movie suggests a lot without going into novelistic detail is a plus for me. I like the efficiency. My real interest didn't lie with any particular character anyway, but with the cumulative sense of how society reacts to a pandemic. That's something that's fascinated me ever since I was in the 6th grade, and from what I know about it, the movie is very accurate and all the more frightening for that. The little character bits here and there were an added bonus.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#45 Post by warren oates » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:50 pm

I liked this film when I first saw it, but I'd always felt that the Jude Law faux forsythia "cure" conspiracist blogger/snake oil quack storyline was a bit farfetched. Then I heard this story on NPR the other day: FDA Cracks Down On Fake Ebola Cures Sold Online.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#46 Post by movielocke » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:57 am

Hah I always thought the forsythia parts were some of the most realistic social reactions in the film.

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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#47 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:14 am


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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#48 Post by Never Cursed » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:48 am

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"Funnily" enough, the novel coronavirus is almost certainly from a bat, just like the virus in this film

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tenia
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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#49 Post by tenia » Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:00 am

It's not that surprising since the movie sourced this element from a real life past case.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

#50 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:56 am

tenia wrote:It's not that surprising since the movie sourced this element from a real life past case.
Is it a specific case? I always assumed it was inspired by two ideas common around that time: that fruit bats were a likely reservoir for ebola, and that ebola jumped to humans through bushmeat practises.

I did just recently come across a news story trying to combat coronavirus-related racism by in part addressing the bushmeat theory, saying in actuality ebola’s patient zero, a 6-month old child, put something in her mouth that had come into contact with bat faeces. Hence, says the author, we shouldn’t be blaming everything on Chinese dietary habits.

Anyway, didn’t look into the patient zero story, but is that what you think inspired Soderbergh’s movie?

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