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Well, I saw Solaris over the Thanksgiving holidays, and overall I liked it.

The story basically concerns one of those space stations where Something Has Gone Wrong. It's a pretty familiar SF trope, but the moral uncertainty in the actual situation makes it more interesting than say, space zombies.

Basically, the people on the station get "visitors", physical constructs generated from the memories of the people on the station. George Clooney's character, Chris Kelvin, has lost his wife to suicide a few years earlier. Solaris reconstructs her for him, but the new wife only has memories of what he remembers about her.

I won't say much more about the plot, in case anybody out there wants to see it, but I liked the way the planet's intentions are purposefully obscured throughout. It's a smart film, and it raises a lot of interesting questions. One defining flaw is that it really doesn't do much to answer them, which actually might be a strength. The end is ambiguous as well, and a little pat. But overall I'd recommend the film. It's somewhat slow, but as a reflective, thoughtful, well-crafted mood piece, it works.

Update: There's an interesting review of Solaris over at Locus Online. Short and skinny? He hated it. Still, even though I disagree, it's a very well thought-out review. Have a look.

I haven't read the original novel or seen the 1972 film, so perhaps I'd have hated this version if I had. Dunno.

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