Good cinema, bad script and patchy acting: Contact (1997)

03 May

I have to confess I have not read Carl Sagan’s novel, which may well be good and is, some say, better than the movie. Last night (thanks to Surry Hills Library) I watched Contact — for the first time, believe it or not! I can imagine what a spectacle it would have been on the big screen, and I give it full marks in the spectacle department. That I genuinely enjoyed.

But then, I’m afraid, it all goes down hill for me. I am afraid to say I found much about Contact utterly banal. Matthew McConaughey, the male lead, was bloody awful, not helped by the fact his character was just unbelievable. Jody Foster did a better job, but it was hard actually to care about the cardboard cutout she was playing. The issues raised — essentially “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy” — were rendered down in this movie to cliches.

Still, a great spectacle, and it was nice to see Bill Clinton.

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4 responses to “Good cinema, bad script and patchy acting: Contact (1997)

  1. Thomas

    May 3, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Is that the film where they send plans for a machine ‘in’ a video of Hitler?

  2. ninglun

    May 3, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    That’s the one: in footage of the 1936 Olympic Games in fact.

  3. Thomas

    May 5, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Yes, that movie really was lackluster. What would have been a great ending would be to have had the ball drop through the machine and nothing happened at all. It could have raised so many questions about everything that Zemeckis (I thought) was trying to talk about. But that would have been dishonest to the book (which is part of the reason I agree with your “bad script” rating. I find that you need to have a very skilled writer to capture the essence of a popular book and transfer it to script).

  4. John Kennell

    September 22, 2007 at 5:17 am

    Yeah… this movie sucked. If you’d like to find out just how bad it sucked connect to my blog on the subject… It’s just one little click away. Thanks for looking.


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