Terrestrial Sci Fi

This movie is long, but very good. I think it's one of Jodi Foster's better movies. It also stars Matthew McConaughey in one of his better roles. It's base on the book by Carl Sagan.

Foster is an academic with an eye and ear for space studies. She spends a lot of her time using large telescopes working on SETI like projects. Matthew McConaughey's character is the film's other protagonist. He plays a spiritual man with political ambitions. During one of Foster's sessions, she recognizes a noise in the pattern of fuzzy sounds. Cleaned up and amplified, she and her team realize that it is a prime number sequence and that others are communicating with the earth using the very large array in the American southwest.

Once this supposition is confirmed, the movie shifts from being a scientific narrative to an examination of government and science. The government is concerned and wants to take control to look out for the 'interests' of the people. Science want's the boundary to keep moving forward. The conflict ends, as most do, with those that have power gaining the upper hand.

The government run investigation is stalled and Foster finds that there is more to the message than a simple 'hello'. Instructions in the message help construct some sort of transport machine. The government starts building a machine and the movie shifts from politics and science to a discussion of religion and science.

The film can be a little preachy and could have probably had a more aggressive editor, but Sagan's work is dense and the movie captures most of it.

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