Not an action thriller or fantasy tagged as sci-fi, Contact (1997) by Robert Zemeckis is really a sci-fi that speaks both to heart and mind. It’s a film that intimately involves with its subject, using great set-design, cinematography, especially sound (for which the film got an Academy Award nomination), and a character that is very believably is a (sane) scientist.
Contact brings Jodie Foster in yet another stellar performance as Ellie Arroway, a scientist whose quest for finding out the presence of extraterrestrial intelligent life – or aliens – becomes an opportunity one day when she receives a signal from space implying a possible contact from aliens. How she pursues the supposed invitation from aliens to meet them creates the interesting and thought-provoking plot of the film.
The space launch scene is the climax of the film. After overcoming all barriers, including rejection at first, Ellie is finally chosen as the one to be sent out there to meet the aliens. But will she really be able to leave the earth or will some last-minute technological or administrative snag fail the dream she has pursued her entire life?
Watch Foster taking off in all her talent as the launch crew works and watches. Oh yes, Matthew McConaughey is there as Foster’s boyfriend, not part of the crew but of the scene of course.