Hazarding another movie inspired by Stanislav Lem's novel might seem folly when Tarkovsky's 1972 version still boasts cult appeal, but Soderbergh's movie beats its predecessor in virtually every respect. It's not only richer and more rigorous, philosophically, than the Russian's woolly musings, it also has an emotional force barely there in Tarkovsky. More significantly, it's probably the finest, certainly the most stylish, sci-fi film in years. Clooney and McElhone are both immensely impressive. He's a psychotherapist Chris Kelvin, sent to the Prometheus space station to investigate strange, sinister occurrences; she's his wife Rheya, dead for years but now rejoining him, as if drawn by his guilty memories, while he and two surviving, possibly crazy crew members orbit the mysterious planet Solaris. Soderbergh uses this story to trace tangled links between time, memory, desire, fear and freedom of will, even as these connecxtions are complicated by the fact that Rheya is a sentient copy of herself. Scripted, shot, directed and edited by Soderbergh with his customary intelligence and assurance, this is perhaps the most ambiguous and cerebrally sophisticated Hollywood movie in nearly three decades.
Cast and crew