The second in a series of reviews highlighting movies that have been unfairly panned and worth re-visiting for any semblance of merit:
I love Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris (2002). I love it more than Tarkovsky’s original (1972). Simple as that.
The mean, moody opening is magnificent and rain-soaked. Clooney is as far from the bad memories of Batman and Robin as he could possibly be and clearly wanted to make a statement to Hollywood that he didn’t always want to play. A bold step.
And this is where Solaris failed. People wanted a blaster wielding ‘Clooney in Space’ saga. This film wasn’t it. A thinking-person’s sci-fi, with one of my favourite soundtracks, this is puzzling, challenging, sad and tender.
Clooney is brilliant and the staging onboard the ship is beautifully designed and realised. The cinematography throughout is a dream.
For this film to get a paltry 6.2 on imdb is a mark of how underrated it is. If Hollywood only backed more of this stuff, the average cinema-goer’s value system would be overhauled we would all to want to engage with something more meaningful.
An elusive, beguiling and woefully undervalued flick. See it.