Last updated: August 24. 2013 12:47AM - 69 Views

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By David AdamsThe story‚??Blogging is not writing,‚?Ě says Dr. Ian Sussman (Elliott Gould), ‚??it's graffiti with punctuation.‚?Ě He's speaking about blogger Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) whose website spreads conspiracy theories alleging collusion among the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies, and scientists researching MEV-1, the viral cause of a lethal global epidemic. Hong Kong is the epidemic's ground zero, at a casino from which Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow), on a business trip from Minneapolis, carries the virus away. That's Day 2 of the epidemic, the beginning of its run among humans. Other travelers who encounter Beth take the virus to London, Tokyo and San Francisco, from where it spreads exponentially.Can CDC and WHO isolate the virus? Can their researchers find a vaccine? Will world-wide panic be averted? What happened on Day 1? For answers, see this compelling and earnest docudrama.The actorsEight skillful actors tell their characters' stories in ‚??Contagion‚?Ě and, collectively, document the spread of the epidemic, as far as the film follows it ‚?? to Day 135. Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon are Beth and Mitch Emhoff. They have a son together; he has a daughter by a previous marriage. Their family's story anchors the drama. Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle are public-health doctors whose efforts to understand and limit the epidemic inevitably affect their private lives, one way and another. Marion Cotillard is Dr. Leonara Orantes of the World Health Organization who, in Hong King, researching the epidemic's origins, finds herself at risk. Jude Law is antic in the best actor's part as freelance blogger Alan Krumwiede, whose conspiracy theories ‚?? of which he's a true believer ‚?? challenge the CDC's credibility. Elliott Gould is Dr. Ian Sussman whose private lab may have isolated the deadly virus. Other comments‚??Contagion‚?Ě is a compelling and convincing docudrama that tracks the inexorable, global spread of MEV-1. Director and cinematographer Steven Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns combine glimpses of characters' private crises with larger issues of public-health education (‚??No one must know until everybody knows‚?Ě), morgues, mass burials, rumored homoeopathic remedies, national security issues, bureaucratic impediments, drug and food riots, rising lawlessness, and a national lottery for distribution of scarce vaccine. It's a truly scary movie ‚?? without the usual hype, monsters, screams and explosions. Rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language, the film runs 105 minutes. Adult-fare, it's serious-minded and educational ‚?? what you might call ‚??Contagion 101.‚?Ě Final wordsDay 2, ‚??Contagion‚?Ě starts,The virus begins its run ‚??Can we find a vaccine?What happened on Day 1?


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