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Solaris (2002)

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ON DISC
A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Stanislaw Lem (novel), Steven Soderbergh (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,728 ( 300)
2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Clooney ... Chris Kelvin
Natascha McElhone ... Rheya
Viola Davis ... Gordon
Jeremy Davies ... Snow
Ulrich Tukur ... Gibarian
John Cho ... DBA Emissary #1
Morgan Rusler ... DBA Emissary #2
Shane Skelton Shane Skelton ... Gibarian's Son
Donna Kimball Donna Kimball ... Mrs. Gibarian
Michael Ensign ... Friend #1
Elpidia Carrillo ... Friend #2
Kent Faulcon ... Patient #1 (as Kent D. Faulcon)
Lauren Cohn ... Patient #2 (as Lauren M. Cohn)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tony Clemons Tony Clemons ... Dinner Guest
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far will you go for a second chance? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexuality/nudity, brief language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Соларис See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$47,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,752,722, 27 November 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,970,038, 9 February 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kelvin's wife is called Rheya which is an anagram of the original name in Stanislaw Lem's novel, where she is called Harey. See more »

Goofs

Gordon says she's getting agoraphobic. Agoraphobia is an irrational fear of going out and facing crowds of people. Gordon is living on a Space Station. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Chris's memories, in voiceover]
Rheya Kelvin: Chris, what is it? I love you so much. Don't you love me anymore?
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Crazy Credits

There are no credits at the beginning. All the credits are at the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Flat Earth Clues: Creative Force (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

It's emotions and reactions - terrifically engaging!
26 November 2002 | by janyeapSee all my reviews

The state of human minds has always been so abstract and never easy an easy subject to comprehend. It's even more complex to decipher on screen. Nope, this film is not strictly a ghost story, nor is it a Star Trek adventure story to interest most science-fiction craving fans. Don't expect to see the usual Hollywood sweet romantic tale either! This film focuses on the psychological journey faced by the despaired and unstable minds. It's a film that totally relies on the characters' emotions and reactions. Awesome!

Has Steven Soderbergh succeeded in sprucing up Andrei Tarkovski's 1972 psychological cult sci-fi classic to make it worth the while to pay a regular price of a tix? Can't really say, as I've never seen the Russian version. But I was truly mesmerized by this film's approach to what, I think, is the study of human insanity slipping beyond saving.

The film is slow in pace and lengthy, with stretches of tedious silence, letting the imagination of the viewers try understand what happened to each of the characters seen, or heard. Silence comes with such intensity that it works very proficiently in this film. There are dazzlingly and ecstatically artistic visual moments to offer that dreamlike stance. At other times, Soderbergh provides a more solid spectrum allowing the viewers to grasp intellectually the conflicts faced by the human minds - Kelvin, Snow and Gordon - as a result of some traumatically emotional events. Viewers are told that Dr. Gibarian has already committed suicide. These may all be psychologists, but they all seem to exhibit signs of stress and paranoia. Oh yes, the psychological intent of the film's contents is truly complex and we are slowly led to see who will finally be capable of making the right choice, and escape insanity. Earth, presumably, is a symbol of normality!

It's about the existential exploration of the minds' sufferings, almost as if the memories of the human mind are being driven to a test. It's reliving a past and letting memories play tricks on the minds. It's living on regrets, hoping they could rewind the clock backward to bring about changes to events that are gradually driving the victims to complete madness. Indeed, a very haunting! Almost like the work of Bergman, Ophuls, Kubrick, and Welles, Soderbergh brings a well-crafted mysticism to the screen.... as if to to say that only one out of many entering a mental asylum can ever hoped to be cured. This film is very hypnotically effective and unique! Solaris - seemingly like an alien memory-stimulating anthropomorphic life form - is so eerily powerful on the screen. It's the `mirror that reflects' what the mind is not willing to forget. It's the driving force to the human insanity.

George Clooney is simply awesome. Follow his Kelvin as he deals with the issues of love, fear and death. It deals with his choice to throw away every memory of his past or to cling to them. That's to say he has the choice to allow his memories to manipulate him, or throw them out altogether. I find it hardly possible not to get totally absorbed with Clooney's character. Scary as it may sound, ghostly memories are never easy to shake off and thus lead men to more deadly conditions. Sometimes for these beings, their choice of death becomes their ultimate solution of finding peace. The performances of the ensemble of cast are solid, but the dialogue is the strength of the film, providing hints to what actually is happening to the characters.

An intriguingly engaging film - that's my opinion, of course! The narrative progression is nicely eloquent and the ending is impressive - providing the viewers with the feeling of having unraveled the mystery and capture the relief. It's certainly not a film for everybody... especially for those who dislike deciphering abstract ploys in films. Readers of Jung and Freud may find this film interesting as it supports the theory that conflict arises within the mind, mental health and illness, dominance, creativity and hearing voices. Fan of Clooney may miss his usual extraordinary charm and wit, but I'd say, thumbs up to him for his courageous choice to engage the viewers with his talent in exhibiting his emotional expressions.

A brilliant film!


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