NOTE: 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control. Many believe this film is a very accurate depiction of the CDC in action. The show “On Second Thought” on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s NPR radio will examine the role of CDC in popular culture in July 2016, featuring interviews with Silver Screen Capture.
Pandemics, public health, punditry and political cronyism collide in Steven Soderbergh’s excellent medical thriller Contagion (A-). The director employs a sprawling, star-studded cast and a multi-narrative approach to help tell an ultra-realistic story about how a virus spreads globally into the lives of its characters. More of a worldwide mosaic than intimate character drama, the film is highly effective in showing the science behind the spread of disease and the ramifications and ripple effects on people from a variety of walks of live. Kate Winslet is superb as an epidemic intelligence officer. Matt Damon is also strong as an everyman whose life becomes consumed by something much larger than himself. Jude Law also gets to do some unexpected work with a snarky character. The film is well-shot and well-researched and is a standout in its genre without employing sensationalism.