9.9-11.2011: What To Watch – Theater Edition

Think about the average day and the number of people you come in contact with.  Now, think about the possible number of germs you came in contact with.  Frightening, right?  Contagion turns our normal everyday into our worst fear that even our antibacterial, hand sanitizing society would be unable to contain.

Contagion  Starring Marion Cotillard (Inception), Matt Damon (The Adjustment Bureau), Laurence Fishburne (TV’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Jude Law (Repo Men), Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man 2) and Kate Winslet (Carnage).  Written by Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!).  Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen).

The thriller from Steven Soderbergh is more of a real life horror movie even if the director was thinking more All the President’s Men and procedurals.  Mimicking the very real outbreaks of the bird flu and SARS but about a million times worse, Contagion follows the spread of the deadly virus and the escalation of fear throughout the world’s population from Minneapolis to Hong Kong.  The star-packed film is just as international as its settings, filming in locations like Brazil, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, San Francisco, the United Kingdom and Minneapolis.  Though released in the US on Friday, September 9th, the movie premiered the Saturday before (September 3rd) at the Venice Film Festival and was attended by Soderbergh, Burns, Damon (who has worked with Soderbergh on several films like The Informant! and the in pre-production Liberace), Paltrow, and other cast and crew.  If a lesson is to be learned from Contagion, it’s that everyone should wash their hands.

Synopsis:  When Beth Emhoff (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 Mitch (Damon) they have no idea why.  Soon, others exhibit the same mysterious symptoms: hacking coughs and fever, followed by seizure, brain hemorrhage…and ultimately, death.  In Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, the numbers quickly multiply: one case becomes four, then sixteen, then hundreds, thousands, as the contagion sweeps across all borders, fueled by the countless human interactions that make up the course of the average human day.  A global pandemic explodes.  At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers mobilize to break the code of unique biological pathogen as it continues to mutate.  Deputy Director Cheever (Fishburne) tries to allay the growing panic despite his own personal concerns, and must send brave young Dr. Erin Mears (Winslet) into harm’s way.  At the same time, amid a rising tide of suspicion over a potential vaccine – and who gets it first – Dr. Leonora Orantes (Cotillard) of the World Health Organization works through the network of connections that could lead back to the source of what they’re dealing with.  As the death toll escalates and people struggle to protect themselves and their loved ones in a society breaking down, activist blogger Alan Krumwiede (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.  courtesy of Warner Bros.

PG-13 / 105 mins / 2D and IMAX

Official Website:  http://contagionmovie.warnerbros.com/index.html#/home

facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/contagion

Twitter:  @wbpictures

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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