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Gattaca

Brevitas

By Lynn Y. Lee

First-time director Andrew Niccol brings considerable visual style and an intriguing premise to this story of a Brave New Worldish society in which the pre-planned, genetically made-to-order elite get the honors and opportunities, and the natural births are relegated to the grunt work. Ethan Hawke plays a "natural" who borrows the identity of a brahmin to fulfill his lifelong dream of leading a mission to outer space. Although the film suffers from unevenness, sketchy characters and muted acting, Niccol's striking images make it all easy to overlook.

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