The movie "Contact" starring Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway, a scientist obsessed with listening for possible messages from deep space. Upon finding an intelligent signal, Ellie is aghast when credit for the discovery is taken by her nemesis who previously killed her research project. Immediately on the scene are the United States military complete with fatigues and weapons ready for a hostile action. Scientists, politicians, military leaders, religious leaders and bomb fanatics all vie for winning supreme over what to do and how to proceed with the discovery of intelligent life in space.
Told on different intellectual levels, viewers of diverse opinions will find supporters for their beliefs in the movie. "Contact" is a seriously entertaining movie, as well as an entertainingly serious movie. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the movie for its special effects and its comedic approach to truths we hold dear. "Contact" is a Warner Brothers release directed by Robert Zemeckis, director of "Forrest Gump." Running time is 150 minutes and has a PG rating. Screenplay is by James V. Hart and Michael Goldenberg based on Carl Sagan's 1985 bestseller by the same name. Incidentally, Sagan advised on the film prior to his death.
Tom Skerritt (from TV show "Picket Fences") skillfully plays Dr. Harry Drumlin, presidential science adviser who criticizes Ellie's research effort as a waste of her time and taxpayer money, eventually pulls the plug on her funding, then later takes credit for Ellie's discovery of contact with intelligent life.
Matthew McConaughey stars as presidential spiritual adviser Palmer Joss, representing 95% of the world which believes in God, as he points out to Ellie. A romantic angle between Palmer and Ellie keeps the drama from becoming too intense.
James Woods stars as Michael Kitz, ruthless national security adviser to the president. Clever film editing with President Clinton adds to the persuasive tone of the movie.
Movie reviews have not done justice to this very fine film. Audiences will get their money's worth regardless of their belief systems. As a futuristic drama, "Contact" does a superb job of anticipating the world view of what many perceive as the inevitable contact with intelligent superior life from deep space.