A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Cold Souls is a prime example of what good acting can do for a film. Take the plot for example: Paul Giamatti plays an actor named Paul Giamatti who is struggling with his current role in Chekov's Uncle Vanya. To have the weight lifted, he has his soul extracted by a company he hears about in the New Yorker. Soon, he again feels troubled from being soulless, and has another soul implanted, upon whence he feels that one too intense and decides to retrieve his original soul, only to find it has been stolen and sold by Russian soul traffickers. Reading this synopsis, your initial reaction may be "uh-oh" or "not my taste", but the way it is handled by writer and director Sophie Barthes is too play it as straight as possible and Giamatti is simply terrific (as usual) in the lead. Emily Watson lends her hand as his concerned wife and David Strathairn is wonderful as his soul extracting doctor, and the several scenes Giamatti and Strathairn share together are simply sublime. I did feel this material was stretched out a little bit, and the fun begins to die towards the end a bit as the plot peters out.