Just before winning the Oscar for directing Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Trainspotting) gave us Sunshine, a riveting, futuristic sci-fi thriller about a crew of scientists’ desperate plight to rejuvenate the sun. Anything can and does go wrong during the mission, forcing the crew into the toughest life-and-death decision making they could have ever imagined. With humankind’s existence hanging in the balance, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Boyle ratchets up the tension brilliantly. The cast, including Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) and Chris Evans (Captain America), form a great ensemble. Trapped in a claustrophobic, high-stress scenario, everyone gets an opportunity to show their acting chops. Cinematographer Alwin Kuchler takes full advantage of the film’s solar backdrop. Despite the dire storyline, Kuchler washes the movie in light and color. It almost feels like you’re watching the film from inside a prism. The distinct visual style is complemented by a suitably modern and evocative score by John Murphy and Underworld.
Some may object to the movie’s take on religious fanaticism, but if you fear zealots as much as I do, you’ll dig Sunshine all the more. For me, this was the best film of 2007.
Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)