Extra servings of science
If you like Clara, or the idea of a film that features some solid science in service of a truly human story, there are many others to choose from, including such classics as Interstellar, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Contact and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Here are 10 lesser-known examples to explore: Agora: Rachel Weisz stars as Hypatia, fourth-century mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and proto-feminist, in this thougtful biopic. Alpha: Set in southern Europe 20,000 years ago, this fanciful but scientifically solid tale imagines how early humans turned wolves into dogs. Arrival: One of the best science-fiction films of the past decade, Denis Villeneuve’s heady story of first contact stars Amy Adams as a linguist trying to understand an alien mind. Coherence: A dinner party gets quantum-entangled by a passing comet, mixing concepts both high-brow (Schrödinger’s cat) and low (Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors). Ex Machina: Alicia Vikander made a splash in this 2015 movie in which a programmer tries to determine if a robot is self-aware. It puts the intelligence in artificial intelligence. Iceman: In 1991, the well-preserved body of a man dead 5,300 years was discovered in the Alps. The imagined story of his last days hasn’t yet screened in North America but may get an on-demand release in the spring. The Man from Earth: This low-budget cult favourite asks: “What if a man from the Upper Paleolithic had survived to the present day?” David Lee Smith stars as John Oldman. Get it? Melancholia: Lars von Trier’s end-of-the-world story takes a narrow focus, as a weekend wedding at a country estate is interrupted by Earth’s collision with a rogue planet. Moon: Sam Rockwell stars as a lonely astronaut nearing the end of a three-year stint running a lunar mining operation. But he senses he hasn’t been told everything about his mission. The Quiet Earth: This New Zealand last-manon-Earth drama from 1985 stars Bruno Lawrence as Zac Hobson, a scientist who might have some knowledge about just what happened.
SERENDIPITY POINT FILMS Troian Bellisario, left and Patrick J. Adams in Clara.