Johnny America


Film: So­laris


George Clooney plays the pro­tag­o­nist, a psy­chol­o­gist blast­ed from Earth to in­ves­ti­gate the de­gen­er­at­ing men­tal states of a group of sci­en­tists or­bit­ing plan­et So­laris in a mad­house space sta­tion. Soon af­ter his ar­rival he goes to bed, then wakes cud­dling an alien with his dead wife’s ap­pear­ance and mem­o­ries. It’s a well-paced film backed by com­pe­tent per­for­mances, high pro­duc­tion val­ues, and an en­gag­ing sto­ry. The dou­ble strug­gles with ques­tions of iden­ti­ty when she re­al­izes she’s a fac­sim­i­le Xe­rox­ed from our pro­tag­o­nist’s rec­ol­lec­tions, her past a se­ries of film reels shot through his eyes. Clooney’s char­ac­ter is con­front­ed with com­pli­men­ta­ry puz­zles; he’s aware from the start that she’s a re­con­struc­tion, but she is a su­perb one — one that he loves. Di­rec­tor Steven Soder­bergh asks his view­er ques­tions about truth and self-de­cep­tion, leav­ing his own opin­ions ambiguous.

Filed under Films on August 14th, 2003

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