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Contagion

Published March 27, 2012

Contagion

Film info

  • Title Contagion
  • Director Steven Soderbergh
  • Year 2011
  • Run time 1hr 46m
  • Genres
  • Tagline Nothing spreads like fear

When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis from business in Hong Kong, what she thought was jet lag takes a virulent turn. Two days later, she's dead in the ER and the doctors tell her shocked and grieving husband (Matt Damon) they have no idea why. Soon more cases are reported as the virus begins to spread. Researchers mobilize to break the code of this unique biological pathogen as it continues to mutate. Deputy Director Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) tries to allay the growing panic despite his own personal concerns, and must send a brave young doctor (Kate Winslet) into harm's way. As the death toll escalates and people struggle to protect themselves and their loved ones in a society breaking down, one activist blogger (Jude Law) claims the public isn't getting the truth about what's really going on, and sets off an epidemic of paranoia and fear as infectious as the virus itself.

Fast Facts

Title: Contagion Director: Steven Soderbergh Year: 2011 Run time: 1hr 46

Background Info

We have been waiting for this for a long time, after seeing the trailer before it came out in the cinema. Wait, wait, wait and finally, there it was. A little bit of disaster movie, quite a lot of suspense and plenty of coughing - with a dash of Matt Damon thrown in for fun. Definitely sounds like my kind of movie.

Live Blog

1:19 - She looks unwell. I think I know what is going to happen! 3:38 - Great montage. Reminds me of that bit in The Stand where there is paragraph after paragraph about people you don’t need to know about. 6:02 - That’s Jude Law in a terrible hat. 9:58 - At least the Doctor is being honest and saying they don’t know, but that isn’t very comforting. 16:08 - “Your dad’s in isolation.” Not something you want to hear. 17:47 - “You don’t have anybody.” Probably not something he wants to hear either. 21:00 - I love this bio security place! Imagine having to get so dressed up before starting any task. 22:28 - “Blogging is not writing, it’s graffiti with punctuation.” 24:08 - It seems like they’re stepping up the concern quickly with not many deaths. Not that any deaths should happen. 28:20 - Instantly blame the wife’s lover. Not perhaps that she gave it to him. 31:19 - The man makes a good point. Better to overreact than under when people’s lives are at stake. 34:45 - Working for the CDC would make you paranoid as heck. 35:25 - The man is going rogue in a radiation suit. 42:09 - Where are they getting this footage from? CCTV isn’t that good. 49:05 - Tracking down someone’s movements in a foreign country must be hard. 52:05 - Er, Houston, we have a hostage situation. 56:50 - I should probably stock up on tinned goods. 57:39 - No secret can remain a secret for two minutes! 1:01:14 - Where did he get that protective gear from? Where do you get DIY biohazard stuff? 1:03:15 - Run out of body bags! 1:08:42 - The white puffy hazmat suits look like Bibendum! 1:12:01 - Surely they could at least be trying to reverse engineer his blood? She said it would take ages but they’re 20+ days in now. 1:13:24 - Matt Damon picks up a gun. Come on Bourne! 1:14:34 - Gosh, he actually is a father with a shotgun. 1:16:36 - The bravery of some people is amazing. 1:22:52 - “You can’t take my blood, that’s my property.” 1:25:28 - She types fast on that iPhone, I need more practice. 1:26:04 - Ooh, the hostage. Forgot about her. Apparently she is just a teacher now. 1:38:42 - U2, eh? 1:39:47 - Solo, indoor prom is about as good as it gets.

Conclusions

Really, very, very good. I was surprised at the relatively slow pace of the film. No major moments, no big action sequences, just an undercurrent of fear as the virus slowly spread. For such a large cast of characters, it was easy to get behind most of them (give or take!). The only one I didn’t really understand was Marion Cotillard’s character, but I suppose they needed to get her out of the way before she uncovered the origin.

Tiny thing, though. Overall it was brilliant. And I really do think proms could do with that kind of rethinking.

**Rating: **5/5

Rating: 5 / 5

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