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Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Steven Soderbergh 
Starring: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne  
An image from Contagion

Snuffly cold got you down? Generally under the weather? That’s what Contagion is like before it kills you. The plot boils down to the struggle with a mysterious disease spreading throughout the world. A new strain of meningoencephalitis is out, a disease killing in days, and no one seems immune. How will they stop it? Is there a cure? Who really influences the masses and planning behind the scenes? This film aims to document what would happen if a global pandemic happened today and the panic it would cause.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, best known for producing other thoughtful films such as Ocean’s Eleven and Erin Brockovich, Contagion embodies this theme. Never does the army lay waste to an army of diseased mutants, nor do people cough up their spleen. This production genuinely succeeds in providing a thought-provoking and truly gripping perspective to such a cataclysm. It’s not simply the excellent direction that brings this film alive but also the cast. Matt Damon is very believable as a bereaved father and Kate Winslet and Jude Law provide some welcome British talent.

Soderbergh manages to walk a very fine line with his film. On one hand it could have become an action-based disaster movie like The Day After Tomorrow; on the other, a factual ‘what if’ documentary film like An Inconvenient Truth. In fact, what it does is grip you in Soderbergh’s quasi-realistic world where the worst really does happen. In this way Contagion will appeal to both hardcore action addicts and those of a temperate disposition.

Harry Austin

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Spring Term (35mm)
2011/2012 Spring Term (35mm)