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Gattaca has emerged as a definite contender in the movie sci-fi canon.
Niccols sharp script and excellent direction make this a very watchable
film. The art direction is excellent, using what look like contemporary
modernist architecture and interiors to create a natural futurist look
which is obviously taking us not too far into the future, and the
costume design is straight out of 1950s noir, Haeke and Law in large
lapel double-breasted suits and kipper ties, the police in long trench
coats and trilbies. The story is classically simple - a small guy
pretending to be someone else falls foul of a random murder and becomes
embroiled in hiding his identity during the police investigation. He
eventually overcomes all the odds and achieves his goal.
Niccol mixes sci-fi and film noir, not in the way Dark City (1998) did a year later in its use of time shifts, surrealism and aliens, but as a straight-forward police / crime movie using genetics as the point around which the story revolves rather than say race or class. The three leads - Hawke, Thurman and Law are believable as the imperfects all striving to achieve their goals in their own way, and for me it is Jude Law who, in one of his early big screen outings, is really at the centre of the film. Nice to see Gore Vidal making an appearance as the weary director of space operations and Alan Arkin is excellent as the police detective, and there is also a cameo from Ernest Borgnine as a cleaner. A Excellent movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have proudly added Gattaca to my DVD collection and recommend it for it's entertainment value and it's strong story and characters, brilliant cinematography and for it's relevancy 15 years later. In 1997 I would have said that this movie was science fiction, today I think it is more science fact than fiction. Special effects were a minimum but the cinematography was brilliant. I especially like the 'upside down' love scene and the clean, uncluttered spaces. The story and characters were both strong. These concepts are a raging debate. For instance, where should genetic preselection begin and end? Maybe it would be okay to eliminate health problems (not that I am saying it is) but then is it okay to custom design a baby's features like a house or a car? People can excel by determination alone, overcoming 'handicaps' and beating the odds - so could preselection be denying the world of a Vincent? His determination beat the system and people like Jerome, Anton and even Irene. Additionally, preselection was shown to be flawed at times as was the case with Dr Lamar's son. Preselection is limited when it comes to accidents or the improbabilities that daily life brings. It doesn't matter why you see it, just see it!
This film is about a young man who has a dream to go to space, but he isn't perfect enough to make his dream come true. The name of the boy is Vincent. His parents wanted a naturally made baby, and he was born with heart disease. After that unsuccessful experiment they decided to make a perfect baby. Now, Vincent had a brother, Anton who was better at everything. That was like a challenge for Vincent, he wanted to prove to everyone that he could be successful and it didn't matter if he was created or naturally made. The story is set in the future when nearly all the people are perfect so there is no place for Vincent. He can't have a good job or other priorities. It takes place in America where Vincent was born. He dared to try and find a person who could help him to pretend he is perfect. He found a man, Jerome, who had no genetic problems. Jerome is a young man who was a swimming champion in the past. He always wanted to be the best but in the very important competition he came only second. After his failure he tried to commit suicide but became an invalid. Jerome gave his identity to Vincent. Vincent could now do all the analyses and could work in the company which was planning a very important mission connected with space. Vincent has a great flight plan so he is chosen to go to space and complete the mission. However a week before the mission, his boss is killed and the police come to investigate the murder. They start to test everyone in the company. Once, the police are really close to knowing the truth, but they don't find out who he is in reality. I like this movie because it shows us the real ambition of a young man who was born with a lot of problems but found a true friend and the woman he loved. Finally, he made his dream come true and went to space.
I've seen this movie many times, but each time it gets better and
better. Its rare to find a film that lays out in black and white what
it takes to be successful in any endeavor.. Sacrifice. Movies nowadays
seem to just have funny, witty, big action, big Hollywood film stars
with crappy script. They sell the movie on the big names, director,
actors, etc.. This movie was way before its time and will eventually be
seen as a splendid cinematic adventure with meaning and purpose. The
filming was fantastic, graphics ahead of its time, fantastic acting,
story out of this world.
I must admit when i first watched the Trailer for Gattaca in 1997 i
didn't care to much for it ...Greatest mistake do NOT judge a book by
its cover this is one of the Greatests movies i have ever seen, even
now the way its directed by Andrew Nicholl (Lord of War) is everything
the Original Star Wars Trilogy should of been.
Gattaca for me is on of the best films of the 90s, the film score is one of the best Nyman's best and i must admit Ethan Hawyke will never act in a better role, this is movie production/direction at its finest a superb film that I've watched again and again an again .... there is no gene for a superb film 9/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WARNING This review may contain spoilers!
Imagine living in a society where discrimination begins before birth, where your genetics determine whether you live a life of prosperity or a life in the gutter. In 1997, Andrew Niccol explored the future of our society where genetic perfection rules all. In Gattaca, Vincent Freeman, a genetic degenerate, assumes the identity of Jerome Eugene Morrow, the picture of genetic perfection, to gain access into the Gattaca space program. Vincent's dream was to travel to Jupiter before his heart was scheduled to stop; Jerome, who is paralyzed from the waist down, allows the use of his perfect identity to help Vincent achieve his dream.
Acting/Characters Ethan Hawke gives a brilliant performance as Vincent Freeman. Hawke shows the pain of a person cursed with the "genetic defect" of being what we consider a normal born child. His dedication to the role is seen through Vincent's dedication and drive at stopping at nothing to travel to Jupiter. Vincent is cunning in his disguise as Jerome Morrow making sure to clean and dispose of every hair and nail that may reveal his true identity thus derailing his lifelong dream.
Jude Law as the real Jerome Morrow is an amusing character allowing Vincent to use his identity to pose as genetic perfect. Though he is often drunk and babbling about how much of an amazing person he use to be, deep inside Jude allows us to see Jerome's serious and vulnerable side.
Irene Cassini is the lover of Vincent and is played by Ethan Hawke's past real life love Uma Thurman. Irene is sort of a cold character, but this is made so by her environment which disallows her (not as genetically perfect as she may seem) to be and love who she wants. She falls in love with Vincent posing as Jerome and is shocked yet memorized when she finds his true identity.
Script Unlike most other first time screen writers, Andrew Niccol's Gattaca script was beyond brilliance. He takes us in deep at the very beginning of the film during Vincent's birth. Vincent's father refuses to name his first born son after himself as his name would be tainted by Vincent's genetic deformities.
We are taken along with Vincent through his childhood where his is out-shined physically by his younger brother and shunned by his parents. The emotion digs even deeper as Vincent is denied job after job because of his poor genetics. He ends up as a janitor cleaning the ins and outs of the Gattaca building. It seems he will never travel into space even though the very building he cleans specializes in space travel.
Niccol finally gives us hope as Vincent decides to take on Jerome Morrow's identity which is considered illegal in their society. Succeeding at literally becoming Jerome Morrow, Vincent is finally given the chance to travel through space as he is accepted into the Gattaca space program. But before he gets his chance, Niccol hits us again with a major stumbling block for Vincent murder at Gattaca.
Niccol continues to engage us as Vincent and Irene fall in love, and Vincent tries to conceal his true identity as detectives (including his own younger brother) rummage through Gattaca trying to find the murderer. Niccol gives us intense romance and thrill in this science fiction drama that once you've seen, it will never be forgotten.
It's quite obvious I am in love with this film. It came out when I was only seven years old. I remember hearing Michael Nyman's brilliant score and remembering it up until I was about fifteen years old when I finally saw Gattaca in full. It's a shame Nyman didn't win best score back in 1998. If you want a look into the future of our society ruled by genetics, check out Gattaca. You won't be disappointed.
I have been using IMDb for a long time and over these years this was
the movie that urged me to make an account. I couldn't withstand the
reviews from pseudo-intellectual critics who looked down on it, or
worse even, from those that didn't even understand it's basic concept.
This is a movie about the struggle of an individual against society and against himself. The emotions of the characters in the seemingly cold environment are portrayed in a way that your own start swelling up. The actors did a great performance. The environment is perfectly correlated to the story, it is recognizable and familiar, yet alien. Despite the depth the movie holds it is very comfortable to watch. The questions this movie raises are many, I don't want to reveal too much, but simply put this is a movie that will move you, that will inspire you,that will make you regain your faith in the stars and make you wonder: what is it that defines us as human beings?
This is the best movie I have ever seen. I have seen it so many times
that my brother and I will frequently quote lines from this incredibly
written script, back and forth at random. The lines from the script are
delivered by such amazing performances that the scenes will stick with
you. Truly, some of the best acting I've ever seen and it's always
consistent, never straying even to the slightest from perfect. I would
like to point out that the climactic scene where Vincent is confronted
by an investigator showcases the best acting I have ever seen and
conveys so much emotion that it will literally take your breath away.
With that said, every other notable actor in this film does not fall
short of that kind of perfection.
In short, this is a story of achieving the impossible. A story of the human spirit, or human will. The main character, Vincent, is a social outcast with unachievable aspirations. He makes many sacrifices and overcomes many obstacles, but when his dreams are finally within reach, he becomes the prime suspect of a murder. He also finds himself in love with a woman who doesn't really know him, but slightly suspects he was involved. His relationship with her and every other character further compound his struggle to succeed. Each conversation is a spectacle. It really makes for an engaging film. There is also the aspect of genetic engineering, which is very important to the story. The director, Andrew Niccol, tries to provoke thought in his movies. This aspect blends perfectly into the film, only adding to the complexities, taking nothing away. The music score in this movie is fuel for each scene and really helps transition emotions between them. Everything about this movie is perfect. This film will hit you deep.
I'm pretty happy that I didn't use spoilers. I couldn't recommend this movie more. Please watch it. I promise it will make your "top ten". ("Top ten" is a game I play with my brother and my friends to quickly conjure up their current 10 favorite movies and why.)
This is a movie that I enjoy, but that I have some hesitation in
First, the good things about Gattaca: When I think about Gattaca, the first thing that pops into my mind is Jude Law and the part he plays. Law is absolutely the key to this movie, IMO, and he's riveting. I would go so far as to say that he's the dominating figure in the film, which is all the more remarkable because of the physical limitations his role imposes on him. I believe the movie lives or dies depending on whether you find his character believable.
Ethan Hawke in the lead role is also very good, but he just doesn't have the burning intensity that Law has. FWIW, the first time I saw Gattaca, I felt convinced that if Hawke and Law had switched roles, this would have been a much stronger movie. This is not to say that Hawke does a bad job, or is flawed in the role; it's just that when you contrast him with Law and consider the parts they each play, it's hard not to think that it would have been better cast the other way.
Visually, Gattaca is a beautiful film. It cleverly invokes a feeling of a future time without having to rely on mind-boggling special effects and other technical wizardry; it's mostly a matter of clever choice of sets, the style of photography, and suggestion.
The plot moves along at an easy pace to follow, and the resolution of the conflicts in the film is very uplifting. It's an easy film to feel good about when it ends.
That said, there are some problems.
One of the major problems for me is what I'd have to call the "ewwww" factor. Without spoiling the plot for anyone, let's just say there's a lot in this film about testing of bodily fluids and biological specimens. Yeah, they have to address this issue, but it's jarring to the point where there were some scenes where I disconnected with the film because of the "ewwww" factor. I don't know if this affects everyone, or just me.
There is also somewhat of an issue of credibility of the major premise of the plot. I think it requires somewhat of a suspension of disbelief that was a real stretch for me at times. I know that there are some people who are going to watch Gattaca and just not be able to suspend disbelief, and those kinds of people are not going to like the film very much, if at all.
I also think that to some extent, if you don't find yourself liking the Ethan Hawke character and identifying with him, you aren't going to like the film at all.
Uma Thurman plays a character who is primarily a romantic interest, and she plays her part well, but she's mostly visual candy. I wish she had had a bigger part in the movie and had played her role in a less detached manner.
So those are the pluses and minuses for this film as I saw them. I do believe that if you enjoy the sci-fi genre, you will want to see this film; and I also believe if you're a Jude Law fan, you're going to enjoy it.
This is probably my best movie of all time. The relationships between
the characters are just beautiful, the scenes in that yellow-filtered
colour (which was even more exaggerated when i saw it on a
brightness-messed-up pirated copy, that added to the effect), the
gentle childly- innocence of the relationship of Hawke and Thurman at
the foreground of an institutionally- perverse reality -where the tease
of being able to (accurately) measure one materially, through their
biology/genes, makes people overlook the immaterial, the soul and all
the subtlety of humanity that cannot be reduced to the material -
perpetually countering the contra notion of 'humanity being gene-deep'.
The plight of brothers separated materially (by genes) yet sharing a bond beyond it. The presence of beautiful humanity within the 'system' itself, hiding out, then popping up unexpectedly in beautiful contrast to the stark materialism. And finally the determination in Hawke's character, his very-cool dedication is so genuine, his quest to transcend his state psychologically which in a 'rage against the machine' way turns into innocently-ruthless life strategy. In this latter way it is as if this movie is in the same world as 'V for vendetta', yet it is so much more engrossed in that reality and into the essence of humanity. The character also reminds me of a (silent) Malcolm X.
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