Monday, September 7, 2009

Movie Review: Gattaca

Gattaca (1997)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law, and bit part by Mr. Monk's Tony Shalhoub.

Summary: Ethan Hawke lives in a world where we've mapped the human genetic code and have been able to genetically engineer all of the world's babies. But there are still many babies born without being genetically enhanced and Hawke's character Vincent is just such a person called an invalid. With a prick of his blood they know exactly when and how he'll die and the probabilities of every disease and symptom that he'll have in life. So his parents decide to have their next child genetically enhanced, a valid. So Vincent now has all options closed to him. The only job he'll be able to hold is being a janitor, even though he's as smart as his "valid" brother. He takes a job as a janitor at the renowned Gattaca, space travel. His dream had always been to travel into space.

Finally he decides to take the identity of a valid, Jude Law (who is crippled by an untimely accident). Jude Law provides all the blood and urine, hair samples, and skin samples Hawke needs to maintain the deception while Law is able to live the lifestyle he's been used to.

I saw this when it first came out in 1997 and really enjoyed it, so I decided to watch it again after all these years. I'm glad I did. It's an amazing story on what our future may hold for us. What kind of ethics will we need to hold onto as the science on genes and genetic engineering continue to leap forward?

Quotes I enjoyed:
I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. No, we now have discrimination down to a science.

There's no gene for fate.

They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness. They don't say that anymore.

You are the authority on what is not possible, aren't you Irene? They've got you looking for any flaw, that after a while that's all you see. For what it's worth, I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible.

It was a beautiful, poignant, and moving story. The journey of one to fight the system and status quo and prove to himself that he is good enough and can make his dreams come true...


  1. I missed this one somehow... 1997.. oh I was divorcing my first husband and meeting my second.. (I kept that one).. so that explains that. I realllly loved Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites and I bet you his real name is Hawk without the E but the agent added it for effect.

  2. My friend made me watch Gattaca about 10 times so I haven't seen it in a while. Good movie.

  3. I really like this movie; haven't seen it in ages, though. Ethan Hawke looked so yummy!

  4. Marie,
    Yeah, I bet Hawk with an e was an add on for effect!

    Andrea and Lisa,
    Yeah, Ethan Hawke is a goodie!

  5. I remeber wanting to see this and then somehow missing it all these years. I'll have to put it on hold at the library.


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