Sunday, 30 January 2011

20 for 2011: 1 - Contagion

Finally we reach my top pick for 2011, the film I'm most looking forward to seeing is...

Steven Soderbergh's Contagion.



Steven Soderbergh, that former darling of the American indie scene, is a cinematic chameleon, his back catalogue encompasses the full gamut of genres from biopics (Che) to star laden comedy (The Ocean's trilogy) to experimental art (Bubble). Even his misfires are generally considered to be worth watching, as they exhibit an understanding of form and content almost unparallelled in modern cinema.

For Contagion he reunites with The Informant writer Scott Z. Burns for what is described on imdb as "An action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak." That's just the tip of the iceberg, as the hyperlink movie will take in a variety of stories including familial sacrifice, panic-stirring bloggers, the collapse of Governments as well as the race to find a cure.

Originally planned to be shot in 3D, the latest I've heard is that has been quietly dropped as Soderbergh wasn't happy with the results, proof that he is serious about this multi-character drama. Indeed it seems to indicate the sort of serious mind he brought to Traffic, his superb take on the war on drugs.

Like that previous picture the cast is huge, and hugely talented, including Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Lawrence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, Jude Law, Gwynneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet and John Hawkes (recent Academy Award nominee for Winter's Bone). In case you weren't aware that little lot have 3 acting Oscars and a further 12 nominations between them, it's the sort of cast list you didn't think you'd see anymore and the sort of cast that wouldn't just sign on to anything.

In short this is a fascinating prospect, a director whosework I trust and have a long time affection for, working within a curious and underused genre with a castlist out of this world. How could anyone not be excited by this.

4 comments:

Runs Like A Gay said...

Alex/Tom,

I expect you're both disappointed to see The Tree of Life frozen out of my countdown, I'll be honest whilst I admire the technical achievements of Terence Malick his films don't move me hence his absense. Maybe that will change this year.

Thank you both for taking part in the competition (and unfortunately only you too took part) but unlike last year I'm going to choose a winner this time around. Alex, as you wavered between Young Adult and Tree of Life, eventualy pickingit as second before it appeared on the countdown think it's only fair that you win.

No chocolates this year - unless you wnat me to send them to your postman again - but please let me know what you would like instead. I can do vouchers, or if you're feeling adventurous, pick something for me to post about or to do in your honour!

Thanks to you both for your continued support.

Ben

TomS said...

Tom,
It was fun as always...I went back and forth and was unable to fathom your anticipation. As I have only known you here for a year here, I wonder: how often has your Most Anticipated made it as your #1 film? So much can happen in a year.
Oh well..back to 1970, and safer ground for yours truly...

Runs Like A Gay said...

It's only the third year I've counted down the most anticipated with the films being as follows:

2011 Contagion
2010 Robin Hood (Rubbish)
2009 Shutter Island (Really enjoyed it - but delayed into 2010)

So no cross over yet, and both of the top films from 2009 and 2010 didn't make my anticipated list at all.

I'm loving the 1970 posts, Tom.

Alex in Movieland said...

well, i didn't see this coming, but I'm "living" so much in 2010 right now and award season, I have no idea what's happening with 2011. :D

Tom,
I'll definitely think about it. :)
don't worry, it won't be a 'round trip to Manchester :P