Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.
Dr. Gibarian, part of a team at a space station studying Solaris, makes an urgent and self-described bizarre video request to his friend, civilian psychiatrist Dr. Chris Kelvin, to come to the station to deal with an unspecified phenomenon aboard, that phenomenon with which Chris' experience and background may be able to explain and solve. Chris learns that his trip is sanctioned by the space program as a security force had been sent to the station to investigate, that security team which is now missing. When Chris arrives at the station, he finds only two surviving team members, Drs. Gordon and Snow (Dr. Gibarian committed suicide), who are both acting nervously. Chris also finds two unexpected people there, the first, who Chris only sees fleetingly, being Dr. Gibarian's adolescent son Michael, and the second being Chris' deceased wife, Rheya. Chris and Rheya had a passionate relationship in all its good and bad before she committed suicide. Apparently, these appearances of loved ... Written by
Two character's names vary a great deal in the different versions of this story. The female character is known as "Rhea" in the English translation of the novel, "Rheya" in the film, and "Harey" in the original Polish. In the 1972 version, she is known as "Hari/Khari" in the subtitles and Russian dialogue, and "Carrie" in the English dubbing. The Doctor is known as "Snow" in the English translation of the novel, and the 2002 film, but in the Tarkovsky version, he is known "Snaut" in the subtitles and Russian dialogue, and "Stroud/Strowd" in the English dub. See more »
George Clooney is shown traveling in a sleek slightly futuristic rapid transit train but the rear projection/blue screen out the window clearly shows the current day "Merchandise Mart" station of the Chicago CTA Subway. Also during his journey the train he passes going the opposite direction is a present day subway train. See more »
[Chris's memories, in voiceover]
Chris, what is it? I love you so much. Don't you love me anymore?
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There are no credits at the beginning. All the credits are at the end of the film. See more »
"Canon on the Fifth"
(Variation 15) from the "Goldberg Variations" (BWV 988)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Performed by Glenn Gould (1955)
From the Sony Classical/Legacy Release:
"Glenn Gould - A State of Wonder" (S3K 87703)
Courtesy of Sony Clasical and The Estate of Glenn Gould
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing See more »
I rented this film, then did some last minute Christmas shopping. While I was gone, my husband watched the first half of "Solaris" and turned it off - twice. He then watched "Terminator 3," which he enjoyed.
After he went off to bed. I started "Solaris." Unlike my husband, I was hooked from the start, and thoroughly enjoyed being reeled in. This is what I look for in a film - a compelling, nuanced story, involving complex characters. Perhaps it appealed to me more than to some, because I have lost several loved ones in recent years, including my father who died three years ago today, and am therefore wrestling with the same questions pondered in the film. Or perhaps I'm just a sucker for a good story, deftly told.
I don't think we would have necessarily had a better or worse film had Cameron written the screenplay, merely a different film altogether. I give him more credit than many on this board, as "The Abyss" is and remains a favorite film of mine, and only defied the laws of physics a few times. ;-) Certainly "The Abyss" is a quieter and more introspective film than the Terminator series, but then again, the films do examine the same themes. It might have been interesting to see what Cameron would have done with "Solaris," hopefully sans car chases.
Personally, I am glad Soderbergh wrote this version, as there is very little I would change. I enjoyed every minute of it. The musical score captured and enhanced the atmosphere quite well. I remember hearing about the original "Solaris," which came out the year I started high school, but I never saw it. Having now seen this version, I'll make it a point to do so, and I'll read the book as well. I will definitely be adding this film to my collection.
As for my husband, I probably won't recommend that he see it right away. Instead, I'll let him see it over time, as he did "The Shipping News," which also put him off initially. Once he got past the move to Newfoundland, he began to understand the humor I saw in the film, but he still despises its more depressing aspects. Still, he considers my taste in films weird, and to date understands neither my love for "Jacob's Ladder" nor my devotion to "Six Feet Under."
But then, he doesn't like jazz, either. ;-)
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