As Contagion exemplifies, the standard stages of grief are slightly different when it comes to lethal pandemics. Sure, there are some of the basic aspects: denial, anger, excessive blogging... but you can expect Steven Soderbergh's upcoming all-too-realistic outbreak movie to deliver some pretty extreme reactions to a pretty extreme circumstance.
The film opens September 9—but don't go in without a vaccination! Build up your immunity, and get your safe dose of Contagion here. And then jump into the fire.
We start off, of course, with Matt Damon—people like him are often unaccustomed to tragedy, so he finds it incredibly hard to grasp that his wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) isn't taking the whole virus outbreak thing very well.
And in steps the paranoia. Two intellectuals deliberate the situation at hand, one (Marion Cotillard) with a particularly heavy European accent, so we know we can trust her. Her colleague (Tien You Chui) has begun to pay credence to certain internet rumors that America is holding out on its populace in terms of a cure-tagion.
Ah, the epic battle: the press vs. anyone else. Jude Law has got a SickiLeaks thing going on here, and he's attacking Dr. Elliott Gould for info. The peaceable, approachable doc attempts to reason with the scathing, unwavering Law (that is not a political statement), but it seems as though the latter will not be putting on the breaks until this situ-tagion is at bay.
And the spread begins. It seems as though Paltrow has passed on her ailment to a man who has such a propensity for touching poles, they might as well have cast Tony Shalhoub! That joke is very unlikely to land. In any event, this scene is one worthy of shuddering predictions. It's also our first glimpse of Kate Winslet, so, at least there's some happy news.
The battle begins. Law takes on Laurence Fishburne, which, if he's ever seen any movie, he should know is a bad idea. Politics flare up in this outbreak film in a way they likely would in real life: hostilely. Trust is slimming. Stakes are raising. Fish are burning.
And, wouldn't you know it—the I Am Legend arc. A man immune. A man who has lost everything important to him is forced to live this hell out perpetually. To watch the world crumble as he and his haircut remain in tact. If that ain't the definition of 'contagion,' I don't know what is.