HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Cold Souls Take A Long Hard Look At YourselfBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Sophie Barthes
Stars: Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, Dina Korzun, Katheryn Winnick, Lauren Ambrose, Emily Watson, Sergei Kolesnikov, Armand Schultz, Michael Tucker, Ted Koch, Oksana Lada, Natalia Zvereva, Rebecca Brooksher, Boris Kievsky, Gregory Korostishevsky
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Actor Paul Giamatti (Paul Giamatti) is struggling through rehearsals for Uncle Vanya on the New York stage. There's something about the performance he cannot grasp, and he's feeling bad about it, not to mention unprofessional as he lets down his cast and crew, but what can he possibly do? He goes home that evening, his wife Claire (Emily Watson) away for the time being, and starts moping around their apartment until he ends up reading a magazine. Inside there's an article about a newfangled treatment you can get: put your soul into storage and feel the difference.

Though first the soul must be extracted, as Paul discovers when he is interested enough to visit the offices of this company offering the service, and already we're plunged into a weird situation, yet gently as this was a leisurely paced, melancholy fantasy which trundled through what other films might have approached with whistles and bells and special effects. It was a comedy, but it had serious scenes as well, leaving a tone not unlike... well, there was no getting around it, Cold Souls was very like Being John Malkovich, resembling a more European take on its placing of a famous actor into a strange premise and spiralling off into philosophical directions.

But did that mean Cold Souls wasn't worth considering when it wore its chief influence on its sleeve quite so blatantly? Not necessarily, as for a start if you dismissed this you would be missing out on a very fine Paul Giamatti performance, and his followers would tell you that was nothing to turn your nose up at, especially when on the basis of this he could handle the drama just as well as he could the comedy. Some of this was very funny, and a lot of that was down to him; obviously he was taking direction from Sophie Barthes, whose first feature this was, but he added that sparkle a name actor can bring to a project which might well have been a lesser affair had he not signed on for it.

There was more to the story that Paul selling his soul, as you might expect although there was no intervention by demonic forces this action was detrimental to his peace of mind, as after he has been inside the machine, turning down the chance to wear goggles which will enable him to see within the soul itself, he is dismayed by the results. Not initially, but when he sees the object itself could easily be mistaken for a chickpea it's not quite what he expected, no matter that he has a sense of even-mindedness about his life that he didn't have before. What he doesn't have is his talent, as we realise in a hilarious scene where Paul rehearses and delivers a ludicrously ill-judged performance.

He realises this too, so returns to the clinic to get his soul back, but the lead doctor (David Strathairn) persuades him to try a poet's soul instead. This improves his acting, but has aching emotions and visions as side effects - no good, he must have his old self back. Which is where a promising movie takes a dip as it begins to shuffle through a plot concerned with the Russian mafia who according to this are trafficking in black market souls, and Paul's is one of those, ending up in the body of an aspiring Russian actress (Katheryn Winnick) reluctant to give it up. These musings over how everything can become a commodity able to be bought and sold, no matter how precious and personal they are - indeed, the more personal the better - are half-realised as the film moves towards its ambiguous ending, and you could throw in a metaphor for human trafficking as well, the way life has become cheap but perversely more expensive depending on where you were in the market making for interesting themes. It was just all that bit too dejected. Music by Dickon Hinchliffe.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 836 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: