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
Author and producer Carl Sagan died during production. He was reportedly taking great care to ensure that "science" was accurately depicted in this movie. See more »
In the opening galactic pullback scene, the oldies in the soundtrack are out of sync with the indicated distance from Earth. It takes 4 hours for a radio transmission to travel from Earth to the edge of our solar system, yet 1960s music and news cues are heard as the "virtual camera" passes Jupiter. 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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