Contagion (2011)

  • Contagion (2011)
With a script by Side Effects scribe Scott Z. Burns, Contagion allows Soderbergh to do his version of a star-studded, Irwin Allen disaster movie. Instead of towering infernos or sinking cruise ships, the threat is a virus – a microscopic, global killer that murders 3 people in the film’s first five minutes on its way to a death toll of 20 million. Like Traffic before it, the film centers on a variety of characters – from a father recently widowed by the disease (Matt Damon) to an infected doctor desperate to find a cure (Kate Winslet) – as the story unfolds. The movie is fascinated (maybe even obsessed) with centering the drama at "germ" level, creating tension every time someone opens a door or lifts a glass. The threat of being infected looms like Death over every scene. Here, Soderbergh is at the height of his technical craft, exploring all the ways the world would really react to a pandemic. Minus a few narrative clichés, Contagion stands as the best “how to stop a virus” thriller ever made. (Sorry, Outbreak.)
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