See "Source Code"

Give yourself a present (Happy Birthday, EZ) and go see the movie Source Code before it leaves theaters. Not because it's one of those movies that needs to be seen on the big screen, but because it's a movie you want to see sooner than later.

Duncan Jones, who already won my heart with his amazing movie Moon, has established himself in my mind as a director who can really make Science Fiction movies that are about human emotions. Boths films are unmistakably SF and rely heavily on established SF tropes, but the setting and technology is secondary to how the main characters have their humanity tested and confirmed through the plots he designs.

Source code stars Jake Gyllenhaal, who as usual turns in a good performance, and Vera Farmiga who is even better. They play the only two real characters in the story, and for much of the time the camera is zoomed in very close on their faces, so this is important. Much of the movie hangs on what facial expressions they display when portraying their characters.

I won't tell you much about the plot, but I'll comment that it has either one of the saddest happy endings I've ever seen, or one of the happiest sad endings. Kurt Vonnegut believed that the most realistic stories were the ones where you couldn't tell what was the good news and what was the bad news. In this film, Jones hits Vonnegut's mark.

Of course, Source Code and all its Groundhog Day style bretheren (Quantum Leap, Day Break, Heaven Can Wait, &c.) are all just Buddhist allegories, but this one is exceptional because it includes the concept of the Bardo. Most films skip the Bardo, but in this story it's vitally important. Watch the Bardo sequences carefully, they're awesome.

2011.04.14 at 12:00am EDT