Criticism

Solaris (Q Syndicate)

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A no-nonsense psychiatrist (George Clooney) discerns that a mysterious planet is having a strange effect on the crew members (Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies) of a space station built to study it. But his pragmatism vanishes when his dead wife (Natascha McElhone) suddenly appears on board the station and, against his better judgment, he finds himself reacting emotionally. The “action” in this existential thriller takes place solely on an intellectual level, unfolding at a glacial pace amid spectacular sets, stunning cinematography, and superb performances by the entire cast. The dialogue-driven plot underscores the inability of humans to understand the nature of the universe; fittingly, things are capped with a perplexing ending that offers substantially more questions than answers.

Grade: B+

Kinsey Scale: 3 (The incredibly hunky Clooney, who gave voice to a gay dog on ­South Park, appears often in only his underwear – or less.  Davies appeared in the filmed version of The Laramie Project, which documented the brutal death of Matthew Shepard, while Davis is seen in out director Todd Haynes’ gay-themed Far From Heaven.)

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