I saw Contagion last Saturday. It was so awesome! The movie certainly had some advisers from the CDC, and they made great contributions to the script.
The director, Steven Soderbergh (who won an oscar for Traffic) has an excellent use of light, and he has some very original takes.
As far as communication goes, I did like the way the script handled the different outlets of communication one can use during a crisis. First, you have the spokesperson for the CDC (played by Lawrence Fishbourne a.k.a Morpheus). This character is the one in charge of communicating with the public all the uncertainties that can arise during a crisis. This person makes a terrible mistake, though (spoiler alert! it involves a private communication with a loved one), that ends up backfiring and damaging his career and credibility. First rule of crisis communication: Don’t say anything off the record.
There is also the muckraker, portrayed by Jude Law (who does a great job playing an unscrupulous reporter), who’s hell-bent on uncovering the “truth.” This blogger starts off by sharing information that some news outlets do not bother to cover, but as the movie progresses one learns that he has been bought. This character is a great example of those people who think they possess some secret knowledge that other are covering up, and instead spreads misinformation and increases panic. There is a very interesting confrontation between Law’s and Fishbourne’s characters.
One can find these two characters (the one who speaks with science, albeit with uncertainty and the one one that believes to possess truth, but in fact spreads lies) in real-life issues, like vaccination, or global warming.
The movie is very well written, and has the right balance of suspense, mystery and human interest. It is very realistic, and I highly recommend it.
If I can’t convince you that it is awesome, then check the billboard they put in Toronto to promote the movie.