George Clooney plays the protagonist, a psychologist blasted from Earth to investigate the degenerating mental states of a group of scientists orbiting planet Solaris in a madhouse space station. Soon after his arrival he goes to bed, then wakes cuddling an alien with his dead wife’s appearance and memories. It’s a well-paced film backed by competent performances, high production values, and an engaging story. The double struggles with questions of identity when she realizes she’s a facsimile Xeroxed from our protagonist’s recollections, her past a series of film reels shot through his eyes. Clooney’s character is confronted with complimentary puzzles; he’s aware from the start that she’s a reconstruction, but she is a superb one—one that he loves. Director Steven Soderbergh asks his viewer questions about truth and self-deception, leaving his own opinions ambiguous.
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