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What if the person you desired most was the one person you were forbidden to love? OscarÂ(r) winner* Tim Robbins and OscarÂ(r) nominee** Samantha Morton "make a sexy and moving pair of desperadoes" (Entertainment Weekly) in this "provocative, quietly erotic" (Premiere)sci-fi thriller from the director of 24 Hour Party People. In the near future, privileged classes live and work "inside" cities, while non-citizens scratch out a miserable existence "outside" in a vast desert. People cannot leave their designated zones without special visas known as"papeles." When fraudulent papeles surface, Seattle investigator William Geld (Robbins) travels to Shanghai to ferret out the culprit and meets Maria Gonzalez (Morton) a woman with whom he has a passionate affair but breaks one of society's harshest laws: Code 46. *2003: Supporting Actor, Mystic River **2003: Actress, In America; 1999: Supporting Actress, Sweet and Lowdown
Like Gattaca did before it, Code 46 extrapolates from the present to posit a chilling, dystopian look at our genetically regimented future. In the corporate-controlled, near-future scenario presented by prolific director Michael Winterbottom and his regular screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, nations and languages have merged to form a polyglot society in which genetic imperfections are avoided by the strict enforcement of Code 46, which prohibits sex between people who share 100%, 50%, or even 25% matching DNA. As an insurance-fraud investigator in Shanghai to investigate the issuance of forged passports (a major offense in an overcrowded world), Tim Robbins meets his prime suspect (Samantha Morton, echoing her role in Minority Report), and their violation of Code 46 has tragic and ultimately dehumanizing repercussions. Fascinating as a "what-if" scenario, Winterbottom's film is more successful as a melancholy mood-piece than a science-fiction tale. While the plot and characters suffer from occasionally vague definition, Code 46 offers a fascinating study of human longing in an age of oppressive globalization. --Jeff Shannon
- Deleted scenes
- "Obtaining Cover: Inside Code 46"
- Original theatrical trailer
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The characters are shallow and one-dimensional. I have no idea why they make some of the stupid plot-forwarding decisions they do. I still don't know if the movie is supposed to be a commentary on cloning, immigration, class divisions, all of the above, or something else that is completely lost on me.
One thing that really bothered/intrigued me as a student of languages was the supposed language evolution. Apparently in this futuristic world, everyone speaks English, but it's an evolved dialect interspersed with random Spanish, French and other phrases that everyone uses in like manner. However, they all retain their customary regional accent. it was odd, but at the same time, begs one to ponder what political and demographic events have transpired in this fictional world to lead to that point. That would probably have made for a better movie than this piece of garbage they ended up with.