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.
Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway (David Morse), who died when she was nine-years-old, leaving her orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (N.S.F.) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her N.S.F. superior David Drumlin (Tom Skerritt), as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders, and other scientists, such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received ...Written by
Jodie Foster failed to receive a much-anticipated Oscar nomination for her performance in this movie, perhaps because she was pregnant and refused to name the father--a fact viewed by many as confirming her lesbianism. The stigma could very well explain why she was snubbed. See more »
When the signal is transmitting prime numbers, we are able to hear and count the transmission to number eleven. After that, when the actors stop counting and start talking at once with each other, the signal never pauses after what would be the next prime number, 13. Later it is revealed that the signal transmitted all the prime numbers to 101. See more »
This, for me, is a masterpiece. I have enjoyed it more with each viewing.
Carl Sagan was a great man. He promoted science in the way it should be, portraying the profound mysteriousness of our universe with humility, and without dogma. In his book, the Demon-Haunted World, he quoted Einstein:
"All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have".
Contact conveys this simple message in a subtle yet immensely powerful way. The performances are some of the most compelling I have seen, particularly by Jodie Foster and David Morse.
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