In the 21st century, genetic engineering makes possible the creation of biologically superior human specimens ("valids"), who then grow to positions of power and prestige. Would-be astronaut Vincent (Ethan Hawke) born the old-fashioned way, can only hope for a janitorial position at the elite Gattaca Corporation – until he buys the blood, urine, and identity of a perfect but paralysed athlete. But a murder in the company's ranks attracts the attention of a detective who threatens to sniff Vincent out.
 

3.5
An interesting premise, but a bit too cold emotionally.

In the world of the very near future in Gattaca, it's mandatory to have genetically controlled babies. Unfortunately in contrast to his brother, Vincent is the product of a romantic coupling between his parents. Vincent - Ethan Hawke - is destined to be labelled an In-Valid, condemned to boring manual work to support his genetic superiors.... but Vincent dreams of being an astronaut and devises the most complex scam to enter the space research programme. The scam involves Jerome - Jude Law - who's become an In-Valid because of an accident, even though genetically he's all right. He supplies Vincent with blood and urine samples to pass the endless security checks. These checks hot up when detective Hugo - Alan Arkin - arrives to investigate a murder.

Gattaca is the first film directed by New Zealander Andrew Niccol. His screenplay, The Truman Show, is currently being made by Peter Weir. Niccol certainly has imagination and visual flair, but the sterile world of Gattaca is a bit too cold emotionally, so that a romance between Vincent and fellow worker Irene - Uma Thurman - never really gels. However, it's a futuristic film with humanist values embedded in its texture, and at times these prove to be quite moving. Ethan Hawke is a bit pallid as the intense, intent Vincent; however Jude Law, whom we'll see soon as Bosey in a film about Oscar Wilde, is terrific as the lacerated Jerome. Alan Arkin is, as always, a dynamic presence. Gattaca has a really interesting premise, with romanticism at its heart which it just doesn't wear on its sleeve.

Gattaca

Sat 9 Nov, 8:30PM on SBS VICELAND (streaming at SBS on Demand after broadcast)

M
USA, 1997
Genre: Sci-Fi
Language: English
Director: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
What's it about?
In the 21st century, genetic engineering makes possible the creation of biologically superior human specimens ("valids"), who then grow to positions of power and prestige. Would-be astronaut Vincent (Hawke) born the old-fashioned way, can only hope for a janitorial position at the elite Gattaca Corporation – until he buys the blood, urine, and identity of a perfect but paralysed athlete. But a murder in the company's ranks attracts the attention of a detective (law) who threatens to sniff Vincent out.  

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Details

M
1 hour 46 min
In Cinemas 01 January 1970,
Thu, 01/01/1970 - 20

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