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Gattaca is a brilliant under-rated piece of cinema that the not-too-distant
future will, in retrospect, see it as one of the more outstanding movies of
the nineties. It is prolific, stylish, thought-provoking, and one of the
few recent science fiction movies that totally foregoes special effects and
does it well.
There is nothing about Gattaca that I didn't like. It is a subtle piece of art that reminds of the writing of Ray Bradbury. Technology (the core element of science fiction) is only the backdrop for the story of a man who goes against all odds, including his brother, and overcomes those odds.
Make sure you watch it more than twice. There are many subtle details that you'll miss if you don't (ie, Gattaca's doctor asks, "Have I ever told you about my son?" not even five minutes into the movie, and childhood Vincent falls down holding a toy rocket...) and it's these small details that create a tapestry of cinematic artistry.
The soundtrack is phenomenal. The sets are noir and stylistic, and (thankfully) instead of trying to present a realistic physical future Niccol instead vies for the FEELING of the future: constrained, restricted, and patterned.
Watch it before it's cool to have watched it.
Gattaca is in many ways the best film I have seen about prejudice. Just as
people have been judged for centuries by the color of their skin, Gattaca
predicts that in the future there will be a more subtle discrimination. It
being a science fiction film helps make it more effective by allowing us to
feel the emotions of the characters with little of our own history getting
in the way. A haunting musical score goes well with the feeling of the
Ethan Hawke as Vincent does a fine job showing the pain of someone whose life is limited before he even tries. But just as interesting were the supposedly superior characters; Vincent's girlfriend, brother and double who suffer from the lie that genetics can perfectly predict a person's life.
The film that Gattaca most reminds me of is Blade Runner. They are both about genetic engineering gone very wrong but Gattaca takes a very different approach. The problems are more subtle in Gattaca involving our own desires for success for ourselves and through our children. Amazingly, Gattaca is a good science fiction film with a small budget, few special effects and mostly filmed in existing modern buildings.
After seeing this film for a second time I liked it even better as the plot seemed more plausible. If you would like to see a sci-fi film that is based on interesting characters and situations and not explosions or special effects, try Gattaca.
This movie is incredible--yet the only ones who seemed to like it when it
came out are the type whose favorite movie is "True Lies". It became
critically ignored, which I can not understand at all. The themes of this
movie-of superiority/inferiority, of identity, of destiny, they're all
For those of you that haven't seen this movie, it is about a
society where the highest ranks work at a space program named Gattaca.
Vincent (Ethan Hawke) has wanted to work there since he was a child, but
since his parents did not "pre-order" him, he was born inferior (a 99 %
chance of heart failure by the age of 30, physical and mental problems,
) to his "ordered" brother Antoine. Vincent has always seen something in a
rival in his brother, because his brother is their dad's favorite, and he
seems to have everything going for him. Vincent's job is as a janitor at
Gattaca, with the hope that he will get in some day, but all the have to do
is get a fingerprint of Vincent's, or a blood sample, or anything, and they
know all about him, his profile, his life expectancy, etc. No one will hire
Vincent because he is so liable to damage.
One day, though, he hires someone to turn his identity into
(Jude Law) an olympic-swimming, high potential winner who has everything
would need to get anywhere-except he comes back from a trip a paralyzed
cripple from the waist down. So Vincent makes a deal with Eugene-Vincent
gets Eugene's identity if Vincent pays the rent and gives him a companion.
Everything works to plan, and Vincent borrows Eugene's fingerprints, blood
samples, haircut, even urine samples. He even meets Irene (Uma Thurman) a
sexy female worker at Gattaca who takes a shine to Vincent (who she thinks
is Eugene). Until one day......
Gattaca is a great visual movie (it was nominated for the best art direction oscar but lost to Titanic), rides strong on very good performances by Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, and is definitely worth seeing.
I first heard of this movie while in Europe where it was called `Welcome to
Gattaca'. I was unable to view it at the movies there so rented it when I
came to the US. I was very impressed with this movie and I might say that I
was even surprised for the better. I was expecting it to be good, but it was
even better than I thought.
I enjoy movies that require you to think or that have deeper meanings for those who look for them, and this movie was full of such hidden treasures. The script is very multileveled and will not disappoint anyone unless they are looking for Hollywood style sex and violence scenes.
Another great quality of this movie behind its thought provoking script is that it is very timeless. It could have been written for a century ago or for a couple centuries from now and it would still fit in with minor technological changes.
This film was really an excellent film whether you look at the cast, which was very well composed, or the cinematography, which was breathtaking. When the movie is finished the script leaves you thinking and your mind races on different tangents for a long while after the movie is over. There is no void or `why did I waste 2 hours sitting in front of a plastic box' at the end. If you like to think and like good acting do rent this movie, it will be well worth your time.
I will keep this short. This is most certainly one of the best films of all time. Script is wonderful, cinematography brilliant, Actors perform to a T, and the underlying message is one that all mankind should take to heart, for this great movie about human perseverance and will, and how real a situation in the world like this could be. 10 out of 10 bottom line. If you don't see this movie you will be committing a crime against yourself. Also the relationship between Vincent and Gerome and his brother is brought together perfectly and well developed. For that matter all of the characters in this film bring a little something different to the table that you will see very rarely in any film.
"There is no gene for the human spirit." This is the TAG line of the movie
Gattaca, a film that searches deep within the heart of man. This is one of
Ethan Hawke's strongest performances as a man who refuses to trust the odds,
and relies on fate and sheer will to achieve his dreams. He borrows the body
of a man without dreams, played by Jude Law in his best performance to date
as well. Law simply captures every scene with his sly intelligence and
deeply darkened soul. He has no illusions about life, or himself, and he is
the perfect counterpoint to Hawke's unrelenting dreamer.
The performances only enhance, however, a wonderful script by first time writer/director Andrew Niccol. It deals with science fiction and the future in the best way, by exploring ideas. He quickly and easily presents a future not unimaginable, and truly existing in a "not-too-distant future." Genetic engineering is happening today all the time in areas outside the human species, and sometimes within. How long will it take before the gloves are taken off and science truly starts to decide the type of people humanity will become? What issues will be addressed when that time comes? Niccol addresses many of them already, mostly dealing with the discrimination that would probably take place in society. The most subtle and yet important question he asks though is whether a man is truly the sum of his genes, or could his spirit somehow carry him beyond all expectations? Such thoughts are dealt with through intelligent characters given intelligent diolague and placed with intelligent situations. It is interesting how such a thoughtful picture can be at time a real thriller to watch as well.
Gattaca is one of my favorite movies because it is not afraid to address important issues that are truly current in modern day society, and do it with great thought and heart. It wisely stresses the subtle theological questions of whether man ought to tamper with God's work, and whether the result would be a better society, or a better humanity.
Director Andrew Niccol's Gattaca, in my humble opinion, is at the pinnacle of the motion picture art form. All aspects of the production serve the story spectacularly. The retro-style art direction, script, acting, music, and lighting all brought to life, much too chillingly, a cold and soulless world where the content of your genes counted for everything while the content of your character counted for nothing. Watching Ethan Hawke's (Great Expectations, Hamlet) Vincent evade the relentless pursuit of the authorities while pining to be on the Titan mission, romancing Irene (Uma Thurman), and micro-managing his samples from Jerome (Jude Law in a very impressive supporting turn) made for some the most riveting viewing ever. This story highlights the negative side of pursuing the eugenic ideal, an ideal that is not an unworthy pursuit, but one that must be approached with the utmost caution since its seekers hope to master a realm once the sole domain of the Divine.
Pity I didn't know anything about this movie when it came out in 97, I would've enjoyed watching it in the big screen instead of on my laptop screen. I've never been more inspired by any movie. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of art, from the scenery, the colours, everything. Ethan Hawke is fast becoming one of my favourite actors. His performance always lift me up. I know he almost play similar roles every time, i'll like him to play a different role actually, but in every movies he starred in (Dead poet's society, Great Expectations etc) i found that i always cared for his character and his performances never failed to touch me. Jude law is amazing as Jerome Morrow, I thought Uma thurman's character should be more developed, but she's perfect as irene. 8 out of 10. There's no gene for the human spirit.
I really enjoyed this movie. I found it to be a well constructed and
elegant exploration of some pretty frightening ideas. Ethan Hawke delivers
a subtle performance. Jude Law and Uma Thurman compliment an all around
superb cast. Memorable cinematography and set design. It absolutely makes
its point that "there is no gene for the human spirit."
See this movie, you won't be disappointed,
I rented this film cold at the video store -- and was very pleasantly
surprised with a very well done movie. If you don't know anything else
about Gattaca, the less you know, the better. Stop reading this review
right now, go watch it, and come back when you're done!
It was after my first viewing of the film that several little details dawned on me:
1) The term "borrowed ladder" is a utterly-brilliantly-conceived bit of future slang that carries a *double meaning*. I'm still amazed that the producers didn't make more of this. Instead, they were content to leave this gem to be discovered by the thinking and missed by the vast masses. I was very definitely impressed.
2) As I was explaining the film to my wife, it occurred to me in mid-explanation that this is really a film that has to do with what is properly called =eugenics=; one of the things the Nazis were about. Then my mind wandered to word etymologies: I recalled that the name "Eugene" = "well born." And then I realized...
3) It's interesting the extent to which so many of the characters in the film *didn't* live up to their genetic destiny, one way or another.
4) Because I hadn't seen any previews, I had no immediate reference for where the name "Gattaca" had come from. And then I suddenly realized...
5) It wasn't until I watched the movie the second time that I caught the effects with the title sequence letters...
Now I had figured out by this time that there were likely to be other intriguing little details I've missed, so I was fascinated to read from another reviewer here about the boy Vincent falling with a toy rocket in his hand.
I wonder what else is in there?
All in all, this is a very well written, tightly woven movie. Seen cold, with no real prior knowledge of the film, it came off as a tremendous science-fiction SUSPENSE THRILLER. There were several scenes that just had me climbing the walls with tension. Fabulous job!
And I'm not the only one who thinks so. When my WIFE says she wants to see a SCIENCE FICTION movie for the SECOND TIME... well, I don't think THAT has EVER happened before!
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