Time: 112 mins.
Genre: Science Fiction/Romance/Drama
Academy Award nomination for Best Art Direction.
GATTACA is probably more well-known as the film that sparked Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke's real life love affair, than the stunning sci-fi thriller it is. Uninspired marketing guaranteed this film a poor reception in theaters, which came and went without much fanfare. A real shame for sci-fi lovers who missed something truly special. Despite it's lackluster boxoffice receipts, GATTACA has become a sort of underground cult classic. With a powerful, intelligent story and inspired art direction, it's not hard to see why. This is a well-written, acted and directed film about a future we are on course to actually achieving. It's message a frightening peek at humanity's desire for perfection no matter what the cost.
This is the story of Vincent (Hawke), an "in-valid." Conceived through the grace of God and without the help of geneticists, he is considered undesirable and weak from the moment of his birth. Science has progressed so far as to be able to tell from a strand of hair, an eyelash, urine or blood, everything about a person from their physical and mental strengths and weaknesses to how and when they're going to die. Vincent has a heart condition that renders him useless to society, since he's only expected to live for 30 years. For their second child, his parents go the "proper" route, choosing not only the sex and physical characteristics of Vincent's new sibling, but ruling out as many genetic anomalies as possible. His new baby brother is perfect and will be given all the chances society has to offer. Vincent is told that he can, and should expect to be, nothing more than a janitor. However, that's not the life he envisions for himself. He is determined to be an astronaut and will stop at nothing to succeed even if it means becoming someone else. With a little help, Vincent becomes Jerome Morrow, a Valid with a spectacular future ahead of him. Of course, what Jerome's blood doesn't tell the machines is that he'd hate his life so much he'd try to commit suicide.