Contact (1997)

DailyView: Day 78, Movie 133

After watching the season finale of Loki the other day on Disney +, I viewed the review of the series from YouTube critic and personality Dan Murrell and he made a reference to the opening scene and the audio clips from the MCU to the scene from Contact, calling it an homage to the movie. I had Contact on the DailyView list of films as a possible watch, so I thought this would be a nice one to pick up at this point. Dan was right about the similar idea with the Loki scene. The introduction to Contact is very much alike.

Contact starred Jodie Foster as a scientist whose team was involved in the investigation of extraterrestrial contact, mostly with messages from space. The film started with the scientific community looking down upon her and her group, even casting them aside. This led Dr. Elle Arroway (Foster) to desperately search for funding to maintain her project.

During this time, she comes in contact with Palmer Joss (Matthew McConaughey), a renowned author and theologian, and they developed a short-term relationship.

After successfully finding funding, Elle’s team had a huge breakthrough, discovering a complicated message from a star called Vega. Within the message, which included the return broadcast of a video of Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics, they found a diagram for a machine they believed was a transportation device to exchange ideas between the two races.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Contact is adapted from a novel of the same name by Carl Sagan. There are a lot of high concepts and scientific properties involved with this science fiction tale. It makes the movie feel smart and realistic despite the fantastical special effects and scenes from the last act of the movie. In fact, the realism of the first part of the film pays off when the more sci-fi aspects take affect.

The performances are all very solid. Jodie Foster is great as the dedicated and, at times, fiery scientist. There is a top notch cast here including Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, David Morse, Jena Malone, William Fichtner, James Woods, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe, and Geoffrey Blake.

The movie was set in the middle of the Bill Clinton presidency and clips of President Clinton were used to show his involvement. There were plenty of other journalist and TV personalities who made cameos such as Larry King, Geraldo Rivera, Bernard Shaw, Bryant Gumbel among others. There are also plenty of real life politicians and famous individuals appearing in cameos such as Geraldine Ferraro, Robert Novak, Jay Leno, John Holliman, and Dee Dee Myers.

I was not a fan of the relationship the movie provided between Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. I did not believe this relationship at all, which stemmed from a one night stand. McConaughney’s character did several things to betray Foster that I, personally, would never have let the snake back to my life. It was certainly the weakest of the part of the film.

Contact may have been a tad long too, coming in a 2 and 1/2 hours, but most of the movie was intelligent and compelling. There were solid performances and is probably would really be like if an alien race contacted the earth.

One thought on “Contact (1997)

  1. I watched this a few months ago, I think I posted about it. The film is still pretty good -its heart is in the right place, that’s the main thing- but it hasn’t aged too well. The ending is the weakest point (and that’s a deadly sin for any movie) where it tries to have it both ways (did she/didn’t she when there’s clear proof that she did, and surely no cover-up would succeed) and the religion thing comes up which is about as anti-Carl Sagan as one could get.

    And yep, McConaughey is awful. Preacher my arse.

    Liked by 1 person

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