November 22nd, 1998

(no subject)

Gattaca (1997) 1:47
dir. by Andrew Niccol

starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Jude Law, Loren Dean, Gore Vidal, Ernest Borgnine, Xander Berkeley, Blair Underwood
photographed by Slawomir Idziak

I think this is going to be brief, since I have so little to complain about and I'm just basking in this movie's awesomeness right now. It's just great. I only wish I'd seen it in the theater. I'm sure the colors and photography were much more beautiful on celluloid. Oh well.

Watching this, I find myself feeling guilty for every time I've thought that Ethan Hawke was a talentless boob. He does just fine here; admirable even. Everyone, really. The whole cast, from the marquee names on down (most notably Tony Shalhoub as a shady identity-broker and that other guy...who played the Gattaca in-house geneticist who tells Hawke about his son)...just great.

Well written, too. Tight, all the pieces, the scenes, fitting perfectly. And for its premise, it does well to veer away from the man-vs-regime, totalitarian/oppression trope of politically orieented story. Makes it more human than other set-ups of this '15 minutes in the future' scenario. I won't comment on the idea of circumventing a discriminatory society by 'passing' because I don't care. That's a matter for the agenda-humping critical nitwits to deal with.

Visually? Ach, it's like diamonds, as my old cinematography teacher used to say. The futuristic deco-throwback furniture and architecture are simply fabulous, as is the smart, understated costume design.

Splendidly paced, as well. Just who is this Andrew Niccol character anyway?

On this videotape, there was a preview for The Fifth Element and I just felt very glad that I wasn't sitting through that steaming pile once more: no real characters, hideous vomit-o-rama sense of color and production design, explosions instead of drama. Fuck that noise. Gattaca is what sci-fi SHOULD look like.