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Contagion

Jude Law in Contagion
3
Saturday September 24th, 2011

Contagion is an intelligent Hollywood disaster vehicle with a big international ensemble cast headed by Laurence Fishburne, Matt Damon & Jude Law and including 3 recent Best Actress Oscar winners; Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard and Kate Winslet.

Fishburne is a doctor at the CDC who must try and contain a deadly virus that is rapidly mushrooming into a pandemic. Damon is the husband of the first known victim to become infected and Jude Law is an unscrupulous blogger conspiring to profit from a gullible, panic-stricken public.

Director Steven Soderbergh does a good job building up the tension. Fishburne is perfect in the role of a doctor struggling to balance his responsibilities to the bureaucracy with his personal obligations to the people closest to him. Kate Winslet stands out in her role as one of the doctors in the field doing the investigative work of finding and isolating people who've become infected with the virus. Marion Cotillard gives a beautifully understated performance as a doctor who is kidnapped and used as a pawn by a Chinese group anxious to acquire a vaccine the moment it becomes available.

Contagion is a big, audience-pleasing entertainment. While Scott Z. Burns' script ultimately bows to Hollywood and the deus ex machina denouement diminishes the overall impact, Contagion is still well worth seeing.