Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves) leads a seemingly ordinary life. By day he’s an average computer programmer and by night he is a computer hacker that goes by the name Neo. One day he finds himself on the run from the police when he’s targeted by a legendary hacker named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). It is from him in which Neo learns the truth about the world which he thought was real and joins the rebellion against “the Matrix.”
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?
This is the one film on my blind spots list this year that I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen fully until now. It’s a film so ingrained in our popular culture; I’m sure there have been times in the past where I might be in some odd situation where I’ll say “I feel like I’m in the Matrix,” knowing that in saying that I’m referring to some alternate reality. Well, at least now I fully understand what is meant by “being in the Matrix” after seeing this movie. Unfortunately, I was a little too young to see it when it first came out, but I do wish I had seen it at least a few years after its release as opposed to 15 years later. It’s evident that The Matrix inspired future action and sci-fi movies, but watching it now after seeing more recent genre movies prior to it, I can’t help but notice some of its age with some of its visual effects. Still, it helms a unique story and shows how far the movie industry has come in almost two decades.
It’s fitting that a milestone film like this came out in the year 1999, almost foreshadowing what’s to come from movies in the 21st century. For better or worse, many movies released today are saturated with CGI, and even outside of the movie business technology has grown exponentially. Now it’s even possible to live out virtual realities…though hopefully, we’re not living it to the extent that the characters were in The Matrix.
The Matrix (1999)
Directed by: Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
Oscar Nominations: Best Film Editing [WON]; Best Sound [WON]; Best Sound Effects Editing [WON]; Best Visual Effects [WON]