Apollo’s Girl

More Guilty Pleasures

I beg your indulgence, just this once! Because I’ve never met a big medical, or archaeological, movie I didn’t itch to see, I raced out this morning to the first local showing of Contagion.  It’s big, it’s medical, it’s international, and sports an enormous, starry cast: a snaggle-toothed Jude Law (almost unrecognizable in his newsboy cap); Kate Winslett in her gravest The Reader mode; Matt Damon; Gwyneth Paltrow; Marion Cotillard; Jennifer Ehle – even John Hawkes, the unforgettable Teardrop in Winter’s Bone. And from Day 2 (the beginning) to Day 1 (the end), it’s got Steven Soderbergh’s steady hands on the tiller of one very efficient, very well-built fast boat.

But bigger is not always better and, to be truthful, it’s far from Gladiator. Still, it’s entertaining enough to make you forget your troubles for an hour and forty-five minutes (not counting the 15 minutes of ads and the dozen trailers that precede it) and, though billed as science-fiction, close enough to today’s home truths to really scare the hell out of you! In fact, Contagion (wittingly or otherwise) also makes the most compelling case for global population control ever to play in a megalopolis near you. You may just decide to get out of Dodge…or never leave the house again. Just keep washing your hands, either way.

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