Dave White
Cold Souls Review

Dave's Rating:

3.0

News flash: actors happily sell their souls

Who's In It: Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, Lauren Ambrose

The Basics: Paul Giamatti plays "Paul Giamatti," an actor who finds his soul getting in the way of his work. So he has it extracted. No, it's not a documentary about every single person in Hollywood; it's a squishier, dreamier, Frenchier Being John Malkovich, minus the anti-Malkovich self-parody.

What's The Deal: Compare it to whatever Charlie Kaufman or Michel Gondry thing you like (and if you've watched all the recent-ish movies that are spotless-minded-meta-trippy-this and dryly-funny-smartypants-that, then you will) since that's kind of beside the point anyway. What makes this movie more than just a bunch of stuff you've seen before is Paul Giamatti. Because while this movie looks great and feels like something significant, it's not complex enough to push your brain into new areas. It needs Giamatti's sad-dog anguish and occasional goofy antics to make you care. And lucky for you, he brings it.

Good-Looking Emptiness: Since "cold" is in the title, you can expect chilly exteriors and futuristic tech-y white interiors with cool machines you get into to have your inner essence removed. And it needs all that stuff because it doesn't really have a ton to say about life other than if you divorce yourself from your feelings then... you won't have many feelings. And that will be bad. And you won't like it.

Things This Movie Will Teach You About Your Soul:
1. It's got a shape and that shape will be a running gag of disappointment to you.
2. People in Russia want to buy the souls of famous actors. So your black market price will be kind of low if you're a nobody.
3. Being soulless is a lot like being a somewhat happier version of that YouTube kid riding home from the dentist, all high and spaced out.

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