The Informant

the_informant_posterFrom the previews, this was a film that I was looking forward to and thought it might have some Oscar potential, maybe as far as Best Picture and possibly something for Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Bourne Identity) the acting category. To be honest, it was a very enjoyable film and very entertaining, but didn’t think it was Oscar worthy.

The Informant was directed by Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Erin Brockovich) who always seems to take some unique approaches to his films. I am not sure I really get his approach on this one. This was based on a true story that was taking place during the 1990’s, yet the typefaces, colors and even the music had a very 70s feel. The music being quirky, for some reason I really liked it. Maybe a nomination could come in that category simply because it was so unique.

As far as the acting performances, Matt Damon did very good, but  the best parts of his performance was the voice over, which I think will keep him out of the lead actor category. Of course I haven’t seen many great acting performances yet this year, so who knows.

I won’t give too much away, but it is like The Insider meets The Talented Mr. Ripley. There are lots of good cameos including Clancy Brown (Highlander) and The Smothers Brothers. Right now this is one of the best out there to see. I don’t think you will be bored with this one, worth catching for sure.

Solaris

solarisNo question, this film falls into one of those “absolutely love it” or “absolutely hate it.” This is a story about Chris Kelvin who travels to a space station near Solaris after receiving a disturbing message from a friend. It is requested that he show up and investigate some strange happenings that are going on aboard the space station. He of course gets wrapped up right in the middle of what is going on. 

The screenplay was adapted by Steven Soderberg (Best Director Traffic) from the novel by Stanislaw Lem and the film is produced by Titanic producers James Cameron (Aliens, Terminator 2) and Jon Landau along with Rae Sanchini. Soderberg does a magnificent job behind the camera as well. This story slowly pulls you in, peaks your curiosity and makes you do a bit of thinking yourself. The flash back shots are particular nice done with a completely different color palette of warm colors to contrast the cold blues of space.

George Clooney (Best Supporting Actor Syriana) is perfect as the cool headed, deep thinking Chris Kelvin who tries to sort things out in his own mind what is real and what is not. You can almost see the turmoil in his eyes as he deals with his “visitor.” Viola Davis (Doubt) plays Gordon, who is perfectly cast and holds her own, standing up to Clooney, and as a character you think she is the type of woman that would actually win an argument. The surprise performance to me comes from Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan) who plays Snow, who is far out on the edge, coming across very introverted, unsure of what to say and has many personal “ticks.”  

If you start watching and you are bored with it in the first 30 minutes, it may not be for you. So which side did I fall on, I absolutely loved this movie. It is beautifully shot, very well acted with great characters to follow, and is though provoking on so many levels. I hate to compare it to the great sci-fi 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I liked this movie that much. If you like it once, you will like it again and probably see new depth to this film each time.

“There are no answers. Only choices.” –Gibarian