THIS IS WHAT A SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE OUGHT TO BE. Brilliant, soaring, expansive story. You want to run out into the street after watching this banging on a metal pot with a spoon to get people’s attention, it’s so good. You’ll want to buy people copies of this DVD because it’s just inspirational.
Jodie Foster is PERFECT as Dr. Eleanor Arroway — she MAKES the film. This is one of my favorite situations, a science fiction film with a decent budget and a real star-type actor. The only thing I don’t like about this movie is that the Dr. Arroway character sleeps with the Hillbilly Preacher character, which struck me as being extremely unlikely. Didn’t add anything to the film IMHO.
But outside of that? WOW. A message from space, concealed inside a radio transmission? And it contains plans to build a kind of projector or transmitter? Incredible stuff! The psycho terrorist subplot is balanced by the kindly rich eccentric who asks Dr. Arroway if she wants to take a ride on a duplicate device he’s had built after the first one is destroyed… and she goes…
James Wood is perfect as the *sshole Senator trying to shoot down Dr. Arroway’s testimony before Congress. And the line near the end where his assistant asks him if he finds it odd that Dr. Arroway’s recorder did record 18+ hours while they had seen her fall in the device, which lasted only seconds… it’s tantalizing. It really is. Masterfully handled.
I just can’t tell you how exciting this movie is to me. This is good science fiction. This is pointed in the right direction. This is uplifting and positive and delivers a fresh story you haven’t heard before. This is great, great stuff.