Contagion (2011)

Short Facts

Starring: , , , , , , , ,
Runtime: 106 minutes
MPAA Rating: France: Tous publics, US: PG-13, UK: 12A
Filming Dates: September 25, 2010 - February 16, 2011
Filming Locations: Hong Kong; London (UK), Geneva (Switzerland), Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco (US)
Theatrical Release: France: 9 Nov 2011, US: 21 Oct 2011, UK: 9 Sep 2011
DVD Release: France: 21 Mar 2012, US: 3 Jan 2012, UK: 5 Mar 2012

Don't talk to anyone. Don't touch anyone. Nothing spreads like fear

An international traveler reaches into the snack bowl at an airport bar before passing her credit card to a waiter. A business meeting begins with a round of handshakes. A man coughs on a crowded bus…

One contact. One instant. And a lethal virus is transmitted.

When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis from business in Hong Kong, what she thought was jet lag takes a virulent turn. Two days later, she’s dead in the ER and the doctors tell her shocked and grieving husband (Matt Damon) they have no idea why.

Soon, others exhibit the same mysterious symptoms: hacking coughs and fever, followed by seizure, brain hemorrhage…and ultimately, death. In Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, the numbers quickly multiply: one case becomes four, then sixteen, then hundreds, thousands, as the contagion sweeps across all borders, fueled by the countless human interactions that make up the course of an average day.

A global pandemic explodes.

At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers mobilize to break the code of a unique biological pathogen as it continues to mutate. Deputy Director Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) tries to allay the growing panic despite his own personal concerns, and must send a brave young doctor (Kate Winslet) into harm’s way. At the same time, amid a rising tide of suspicion over a potential vaccine—and who gets it first — Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) of the World Health Organization works through the network of connections that could lead back to the source of what they’re dealing with.

As the death toll escalates and people struggle to protect themselves and their loved ones in a society breaking down, one activist blogger (Jude Law) claims the public isn’t getting the truth about what’s really going on, and sets off an epidemic of paranoia and fear as infectious as the virus itself.

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From Marion Cotillard

She starts with Beth Emhoff. Beth was the first person known to have died from the virus so Dr. Orantes tracks her itinerary. Fortunately for her, we now have video cameras everywhere so the first thing she does is study the footage from the cameras in the hotel, the elevator and the casino.” But even that can only take her so far. “You can discover a point of contact between two people, and you know both of them became ill, but it could have gone either way—the question is, which one of them infected the other? Meanwhile, Time is the enemy. As quickly as Orantes and the others work, the virus is moving even faster. People are dying and desperation is growing. When there is no more water and you need to drink, you will fight for water.

Awards & Nominations

= Win = Nomination

  • Best Ensemble Acting from Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards