Lem 2021: Stanisław Lem on Film

Wholly unexpected and unexpectedly fine … An almost perfect balance of poetry and pulp—the year’s most elegant, moody, intelligent, sensuous, and sustained studio movie.”

J. Hoberman, Village Voice

Remaking the legendary likes of Tarkovsky was asking for critical trouble, but Steven Soderbergh defended his (tighter) version of Solaris as a more faithful adaptation of Stanisław Lem’s source novel, and surprised many with the excellence of his achievement. George Clooney plays Chris Kelvin, a guilt-ridden psychologist sent to investigate a crisis aboard space station Prometheus, in orbit around the distant planet Solaris. He finds the crew in a state of paranoiac breakdown, mumbling about visitors.” Soon, Kelvin is being traumatized by a visitor of his own: his late wife Rheya (Natascha McElhone), dead many years, but now somehow sharing his bed again. Soderbergh’s big-budget Hollywood film bravely eschews the action-adventure conventions of commercial sci-fi cinema, and impresses with its elliptical, introspective exploration of time and memory, and profound sense of loss and regret. The writer-director also shot and edited (under pseudonyms). James Cameron produced. With Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies. 

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It’s probably the finest, certainly the most stylish, sci-fi film in years. Clooney and McElhone are both immensely impressive.”

Geoff Andrew, Time Out

Soderbergh’s riskiest commercial venture to date … A tender, quietly emotional experience with strong philosophical underpinnings … The film contains a surprising depth of feeling.”

Scott Tobias, AV Club
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