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Best Movie Ever!
What can I say about this epic? The characters were so three-dimensional, the writing so inspired, the story so unpredictable, that a simple review can not do this justice.
My favorite part? When the evil-albino-Fundamentalist-science-hating preacher somehow manages to infiltrate the launching of this historic trillion-dollar mission. We know that he's up to no good because earlier in the film, he's preaching his sneering message of scientific intolerance in the desert, when Jodie's character passes by him and HE CALLS HER OUT ("these scientists..") when she's driving to get to the tracking station. That was some seriously eerie foreshadowing Robert Z, and it still gives me chills, even as I write this.
There were a few other characters that I loved so much that I have memorized their every line to help me with my life. Palmer Joss' words of wisdom about the shapelessness of love has quelled my doubts about the afterlife. The guy floating in space who pays for everything and may be the bald Jesus, was cool, and I liked him a lot although he kind of scared me too. James Woods was also excellent as the government skeptic who wants to control everything because he's got the biggest penis in town. Of course, Jodie Foster hates this guy and their lack of sexual tension (and also with romantic interest Matt McC) is genius storytelling in my opinion. There was also a blind guy who was kind of boring - but he did speak German and helped move the plot along to were it was supposed to go. The black woman was pretty and kept things from getting heated between the scientists and the government. There were also a lot of cameos that made me think at times that this was really happening.
Overall, I say watch this and enjoy it, again and again and again. Why watch it once when you can watch it twice? Thrice?