Scene Gems: A Boy Pushes Himself to Compete with His Genetically Superior Sibling in 'Gattaca'

Andrew Niccol's Gattaca (1997) is thoughtful science fiction, a well-written morality play set in the near future when engineering your own child for excellence is a reality. In this sequence, the "inferior" brother, Vincent (played later in the film by Ethan Hawke), not only suffers from societal prejudice, by also by the preconceptions held by his own family.

The dialogue here is very good, and perfectly captures the main theme of the entire film: no matter who we are, we can be anything we want--"facts" be damned. The visuals are powerful (water, a symbol of birth), the actors good, and the wonderful score by Michael Nyman is very effective.

Niccol would go on to strike gold one year later with his script for The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey and directed by Peter Weir. I like that movie as well, but Gattaca is one of my personal favorites.