Predictions ( Knowing ) is an American film of science fiction directed by Alex Proyas and released in 2009 .
In 1959, a Massachusetts school participated in a competition on the theme of the future. A teacher, M me Taylor proposes that students imagine their world fifty years later and that all copies be placed in a time capsule that would be opened in 2009. But while other children draw rockets, Lucinda Embry, a mentally ill girl, aligns a series of numbers and numbers, mechanically, as if she were reciting them.
At a ceremony in the presence of the children, their parents and their teachers, the capsule is solemnly placed in a hole in front of the school steps. M me Taylor noticed Lucinda stands apart. When she looks back a moment later, the little girl is gone. Searches are immediately launched and last until dark. While police officers inspect every corner of the school, M me Taylor Lucinda found in a closet of the basement and noticed that the girl scratched the wood of the door to the blood with his nails to finish his list.
Fifty years later, John Koestler is a professor of astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Widowed for a year, he drowns his pain in alcohol when the evening comes and tries, somehow, to maintain his relationship with his son of ten years, Caleb. For his part, the boy suffers even more. In addition to a resigned father who seeks certainly to limit the breakage, it is a taciturn child who lives in a house too big and too empty, lost in the middle of the woods. His limited hearing completes the plunge into a world of silence and solitude.
On the day of the opening of the capsule, the envelopes are distributed among the children in the schoolyard and everyone contemplates his message. It’s Caleb who gets the list of numbers and numbers. In examining it, he notices in the distance, between two trees of the neighboring wood, a hieratic figure that seems to be observing it. He is a platinum-haired man, entirely dressed in black. Another boy approaches Caleb to comment on the contents of the envelope he has received, Caleb has turned his head towards him and once he looks back at the place, the silhouette of the man has disappeared.
In the evening, after Caleb has gone to bed, John looks distractedly at the list. His attention is drawn to the segment 0911012996. The intuition comes quickly that it is the date of September 11, 2001, the day of terrorist attacks that killed 2996 victims . At first, his Cartesian mind refuses the accuracy of the prediction. But he looks at the rest of the list and, with the help of the internet, realizes with horror that the dates written fifty years earlier are in fact the same as those of catastrophes that have occurred around the world – derailments, crashes, airplane, etc. -, followed by the exact number of victims. Among other questions, John wonders what the last eight digits of each prediction can be.
The next day, he decides to talk about his discovery to his colleague and friend, Phil Beckman, who, while recognizing the coincidence, prefers to think that each interprets in a sequence of symbols that what he wants to see there.
John finds the trace of M me Taylor, who receives the home. She remembers Lucinda Embry and tells John that she died several years ago. John wants to know more, but as M me Taylor was offered twice to drink, almost back to back, he understands that she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that it will get no other evidence than basement closet of the school.
When John gets home, he phones the school for information about this time capsule. Caleb plays with a ball outside during this time. It was then that a car with two men in black inside approached the house. Caleb goes to the car and one of the men gives him a polished black pebble. At that moment, John, who was walking in the kitchen while he phoned, looks out the window and sees the scene. Immediately he leaves the house and runs to his son running, the car is already gone and Caleb shows the stone to his father.
The next day he receives a phone call from his son who asks him to pick him up on the way to school. In the pouring rain, John is stopped on a congested national road, because of a tanker truck across the road. His eyes arise by chance on his GPS navigator, and not only does he understand that the last eight digits of each prediction indicate the longitude and latitude of the place of the tragedy, but he also realizes, by re-reading the list he has on him, that he is find precisely in the place of a future tragedy. Still dubious, he gets out of his car and approaches the tank truck. A policeman asks him to move away, but his face breaks down at the sight of something in John’s back. The latter turns around and, in the second, becomes the spectator of a plane losing control, crashing and exploding in a field. Immediately, John throws himself among the burning debris and tries to help human torches that go off screaming in horror.
John goes home to a second state, traumatized as much by the slaughter he just witnessed as by the fact that he knew it was going to happen. Without suspecting that other men in black carpets in the shadows are watching his house in silence.
One night, an intruder sneaks into the room of John’s son: he is the leader of the men in black. Caleb wakes up, sees him, and looks at the window of his room, which the stranger points with an authoritative finger. On the other side of the window, everything, absolutely all that is visible to the horizon is swept by a wall of flames that devours inexorably all that lives. The animals of the forest are scattered in the panic between the charred trees, in a concert of death howls, like spectral shadows on fire. Horrified by this vision, Caleb utters cries of terror. His father comes out of the room out of breath and tries to console his son that he has had a nightmare.
John then resolves to approach the daughter of Lucinda Embry, Diane, which he found traces. Taking advantage of the fact that this thirty is the single mother of a girl of the same age as Caleb meets, John docked the mother in an animal museum and finally confess everything he knows about her and the gift of his mother. Shocked, Diane grabs her daughter Abby and leaves hurriedly. Obviously, a heavy secret weighs on his life.
A few days later. Whereas the day before, he telephoned to the FBI to announce the catastrophe (a threat of attack already weighed) and by the coordinates, the exact place, force it is to him to note that the place was not evacuated. He is in the street, in the middle of a crowd going about his usual business. On the lookout, John tries to spot anything that is likely to escalate. By aggressively asking a policewoman why the street is not evacuated, he is spotted by the police and flees into the subway. That’s when he spots a suspicious individual who is holding something hidden under his clothes, John pursues him believing in a suicide bomber but when he and the security agents catch him he is only a vulgar thief . Meanwhile, a short circuit makes a switch work by itself. And again, John is witnessing a new carnage: the trains of the subway in which he is derailing, run on another subway and slide on the platform by sweeping all users in its path.
John, exhausted, returns home late at night to see that Diane and Abby are waiting for him on the steps of his house. After learning the new slaughter, Diane decided to reveal everything she knows to John. It appears that her mother heard voices and that she always told her daughter that she would die on October 19th. A very close day.
In the process, Diane brings John to a mobile home where Lucinda Embry lived the last years of her life before dying. While walking towards the mobile home Diane inspects the sheet, it is then that she says that the last two figures may not be 3 but rather E. Because her daughter tended to write some letters upside down it is possible that his mother had the same problem. While Caleb and Abby are sleeping in the back of the car, John and Diane inspect each of the dusty and wet rooms. One of them is entirely lined with newspaper clippings and drawings. There is one that Lucinda used to contemplate more than any other: an engraving that represents a man above the clouds, the head surrounded by
As he prepares to leave the room, John feels his foot stepping on something: a small, polished, black pebble, similar to the one the man in black had given to his son. While picking it up, John finds six others under the bed. By raising the latter upright, John and Diane contemplate with dread that Lucinda had engraved Everyone Else (EE) (“All Others”) several times. That’s the meaning of EE at the end of the page.
Meanwhile, the men in black gathered around the car in which the children sleep. When Caleb and Abby get out of their sleep and maybe feel about to be kidnapped or killed, Caleb has the idea of honking, which puts the foreigners on the run. Alerted by the noise, John comes out of the house, sees the leader of the men in black and chases him into the forest. He finds him in a clearing, motionless and back, and, under the threat of a gun, the sum of turning around. The man in black runs slowly. When John asks who he is, the man opens his mouth and there comes a blinding light that he uses to faint in nature. John returns to the race course at the mobile home to pick up Diane and the children and take them home,
In the early morning, John surprises Abby in the living room, coloring in yellow part of the engraving. With a big smile, the little girl shows her the fruit of her hands, and John understands that surrounded the head of the man above the clouds is not a strong will , but the sun . And then he understands the magnitude of the last prediction: the entire Earth will have to face the worst of natural disasters in its history.
To gauge the extent of the coming cataclysm, John rushes to MIT. There he finds Phil Beckman with the help of whom he finds that a solar flare , long anticipated, has been largely underestimated by the relevant authorities. In the face of the evidence, Phil Beckman finally joins John’s theory and decides to go back to his family to live his last moments. On leaving, Diane offers to take refuge in one of the caves she knew was young to escape the radiation of the solar flare: he accepts.
As he gets ready to go to the cave, he discovers Caleb in a state of trance writing the same series of numbers on a piece of paper that he snatches off but he continues to write on the table. John then takes off the pen and the boy starts scratching the wood of the table with his nails to continue his series of numbers until his father takes him in his arms and he comes out of his trance. So he decides to go to school Lucinda Embry, he forced the entrance and found the closet in which she had taken refuge fifty years earlier. He was repainted. He tears the door and takes her home. While Diane gathers provisions and waits in the car, he scrapes the paint. Diane, exasperated, then decides to leave with the children in his car. But at this moment, he finds the numbers scratched on the door and using his GPS navigator, discovers that the last eight digits of the last prediction point to the abandoned mobile home: that would be where it should be to be safe.
In the meantime, Diane stopped at a gas station. TV station broadcasts statement: High-ranking US Army official reveals to public that solar flarewill happen soon with disastrous consequences, and he advises people to gain underground shelters. Psychosis is running. Diane runs to a public phone where Caleb is phoning her father, Diane tells him to get back in the car and then talks with John. Suddenly, she notices an object clearly put to her attention on the top of the phone: a black pebble. When she turns to her car, the men in black have already taken their seats inside and are starting. Diane steals a customer’s van from the gas station and pursues them. She is stopped by a red light and decides to override. A heavyweight pops up at the crossroads, hits and twirls his vehicle.
John arrives at the gas station a few moments later. The gas station clerk tells her about Diane’s direction, and finds out that she has had a violent car accident. She succumbs to her injuries.
On his arrival at the place designated by the figures of the last prediction, he identifies and follows tire tracks that lead him into a clearing on a bed of black pebbles. The man in black is waiting for him. At the end of his nerves, John threatens him with his weapon. But Caleb, holding a white rabbit, then Abby arise and tell him that the intentions of the foreigners are good. Suddenly, lights illuminate the cloud layer and everyone rolls their eyes. John collapses on his knees in front of a spaceship that has just appeared in a halo, unfolding in nesting petals, revealing the true nature of men in black. These address the children directly in their thoughts, and Caleb explains to his father that they must now leave. John is barely recovering from his stupor when Caleb says thatonly the elect , that is to say the children, must leave. Understanding the situation, John hugs his son one last time and lets him join the men in black. They get rid of their human appearance and become immaterial silhouettes made of light. John watches them take the children by the hand and take them to heaven. The ship folds its petals and slowly disappears behind the clouds. He leaves the Earth’s atmosphere and joins the rest of a fleet of similar ships leaving the Earth.
Back in the city, John discovers an end of the world show. As a result of the heat wave, thousands of people who have been insane heat went down the streets, swarming like a panicked, incoherent, vociferous crowd. Between two scenes of looting and aggression, John sees Phil Beckman and his companion in the distance, in the arms of one another motionless.
Arrived at the gate of a Protestant temple, he climbs the few steps of the stoop, stops at the door and presses the bell. It’s his sister who opens it. She takes him in the living room, where waiting for their father pastor and their mother. In a gesture in extremis of reconciliation, the whole family embraces, deaf to the outer roar of the end of the world.
The first solar cloud arrives by the sea and leaves only a sizzling plain. Elsewhere, a wall of ashes advances inland and its incandescence is such that entire cities disappear into a dust that burns in turn. Everywhere in the world, every trace of life, human or otherwise, is swept away by gigantic columns of fire. Very quickly, the Earth itself is consumed and then disappears in the sidereal vacuum.
Caleb and Abby run in a meadow of what looks like fresh grass on a new planet, where the men in black have dropped them, and they seem like other children elected since other ships leave . They run laughing towards a large, luminous and isolated tree, alluding to Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit tree.
- Original title: Knowing
- French title: Prédictions
- Director: Alex Proyas
- Scenario: Alex Proyas , Juliet Snowden , Stiles White , Stuart Hazeldine
- Artistic Director: Sam Lennox
- Sets: Steven Jones-Evans
- Costume: Terry Ryan
- Photo: Simon Duggan
- Editing: Richard Learoyd
- Music: Marco Beltrami
- Producer: Steve Tisch , Todd Black , Jason Blumenthal
- Distribution: SND
- Budget: $ 50,000,000
- Format: Color Format: 2.35: 1 ( 35 mm ) Sound: DTS – Dolby Digital
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Country: United States
- Language: English
- Duration: 116 minutes
- Release dates 1 :
- United States : (first in New York)
- United States :
- France / Belgium :
- United States : RatedPG-13for Disaster Sequences, Disturbing Images and Sometimes Strong Language
- France : All audiences
- Nicolas Cage (VF: Dominique Collignon-Maurin – VQ: Benoit Rousseau ) : John Koestler
- Rose Byrne (VF: Sylvie Jacob – VQ: Bianca Gervais ) : Diana Wayland
- Ben Mendelsohn (VF: Pierre Tessier – VQ: Pierre Auger ) : Phil Beckman
- Liam Hemsworth (VF: Damien Ferrette ) : Spencer Loogan
- Chandler Canterbury (VF: Max Renaudin – VQ: Leo Caron ) : Caleb Koestler
- Lara Robinson (VF: Barbara Tissier – VQ: Ludivine Reding ) : Lucinda Embry, Abby Wayland
- Nadia Townsend (VF: Dorothée Poussé ) – (VQ: Magalie Lépine-Blondeau ) : Grace Koestler
- Alan Hopgood (VF: Jean Pommier – VQ: André Montmorency ) : Reverend Koestler
- Adrienne Pickering : Allison Koestler
- Danielle Carter (VF: Christiane Ludot – VQ: Catherine Hamann) : M me Taylor in 1959
- Alethea McGrath (Ft Marion Loran ) : Miss Taylor in 2009
French dubbing made by the company ” Dubbing Brothers “, source Voxofilm.free.fr [ archive ]
- The first of the disasters to which the plot of the film refers, chronologically, occurred in France: it is the dam of Malpasset .
Notes and references
- ↑ (in) Predictions [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database