While it may be self-evident on this blog that Danny Boyle tickles my fancy I thought I would take it a step further and include another work of his that I found quite moving this year: Sunshine. While this movie was released in 2007, I didn’t see it until earlier this year, therefore it falls into MY category of 2008. I had heard sporadically good things from people about the movie but because of its limited release nature (if it wasn’t playing at the Carousel Mall in Syracuse, NY, does that mean it was limited release?) I didn’t get a chance to see it until it arrived in my Netflix queue. What a wild ride it was.
Similar to Slumdog Millionaire, I found Sunshine to be a trip down the famous Boyle paved road of human morality. Sunshine is filled with questions about sacrifice, the value of human life, and the breaking point of the human spirit. While he’s not the first director to tackle these themes by a long shot, I think this is something Boyle is a true master at portraying. The sci-fi plot structure and setting was even more appealing to me. It forces the viewer to really expand their mind to think about what morality will mean when we are venturing to faraway planets or trying to reignite the sun with a nuclear bomb (if movies and TV have taught us anything, I assure you this will happen). Add to the list an emotionally gripping score provided by Underworld and you’ve got a film that had me talking for months.
The “ensemble” cast worked together magically. It was a good mix of people you recognized and people you didn’t. Sorry Clooney, but if you were at the controls of a rocket ship heading to the sun to save mankind I just wouldn’t buy it. The music in combination with the excellent script provided for excellent thrill-tastic elements that mirrored the coldness of space and ultimately the chilling nature of their decisions in the process of trying to save the world. I give my kudos to Boyle for a great year with Slumdog Millionaire and also to the fact that he is consistently stepping his game up with each film he releases.