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An actor named Paul Giamatti struggles with his performance as Uncle Vanya in a production of Checkov's play. As a possible cure to his internal struggles, his character ends up at a company specializing in the extraction and storage of a person's soul.
I won't say any more about the plot; there is a certain joy of discovery in "Cold Souls." Elements borrow from "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Being John Malkovich;" the film had a very Charlie Kaufman feel to it, but slightly more serious in tone and subtle in its humor. Also, as a fan of Mr. Giamatti's work, it was interesting to see allusions to his other films (the white room sequence recalled something similar in "Amercian Splendor").
In terms of the DVD, there are few extra features. Deleted scenes, a 5-minute short on the fabrication of the Soul Extractor, and trailers for other films. The absence of a commentary is a disappointment. I'm hoping that a Blu-Ray version includes more, and possibly I was watching an inferior "Netflix-only" version of the DVD.
While the premise of the story was novel and certainly held out some promise for a solid comedy, most of the movie was just plain dark, depressing and surreal. Much of it is set in Russia, which is depressing enough by itself. The themes are dark. The suicide of a marginal character is dark. The use of lighting is, well, dark. Yes, there are some places where it works and evokes some laughs, but the rest of the movie just doesn't work -- unless you have an extremely dry, somewhat twisted sense of humor. To his credit, Giamatti's usual stellar performance was the one bright spot. Not recommended for most viewers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Is it worth selling your soul? Watch this if you'd like to ponder that question. Can you get it back once you've loaned it out?Published 18 days ago by MikeSz
Ingmar Bergman meets Woody Allen in this strange movie. I loved the premise. It made me literally laugh out loud three times.Published 3 months ago by Karen Goldstein
This was a beautiful film. I think Paul was great for the role. It did have a few hilarious moments. It will make you think about your soul and your life. Loved it.Published 17 months ago by Debra L. Showalter
A dark metaphysical satire with original writing, fresh characters and terrific plot. Paul Giamatti is great as well... Paul Giamati. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mark Vandergaard