Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Truman Show

"The Truman Show" is television satire at it's absolute best, and although it's director, Peter Weir, went on to direct another great movie ("Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" was also stellar), "The Truman Show" is his magnum opus. It is also Jim Carrey's best performance of his career, even better than his great dramatic work in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and his actually underrated comedy efforts in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "Fun With Dick and Jane." In this film he plays the title character, Truman Burbank (another sarcastic joke about the industry), a man who has been living in a 24 hour television show practically his whole life, unknowingly being held captive by the ratings-greedy television producer Christof (Ed Harris, also quite good), who adopted him as a baby. The show, though, is a pop culture phenomenon, shown on the big screen at Times Square and loved by millions of people. We only get to see some of the audience though, including two lazy police officers, an entire bar devoted to the show, two old ladies with a Truman pillow, a guy taking a bath, etc. Back to the actual show. Truman lives with his wife Myrel (Laura Linney) and goes to work every day practically the same way every day, with the same people bumping into him, etc. The show in all honesty is about as much a product placement vehicle as it is about Truman himself. Anyways, one day during his daily routine, he sees his supposedly dead father (Brian Delate) wandering around on the set of the show and this where Truman starts to suspect something is up. During a flashback, we see this isn't the first time. During a brief romantic encounter he had with Lauren (Natascha McElhone of "Ronin," "Solaris," and TV's "Californication"), Lauren, in the real world Sylvia, tried to spill the beans on the show before she was driven off the set. But they couldn't hide it forever, and Truman eventually outsmarts the TV crew. But before that, you have close to 85 minutes of absolute genius from Andrew Niccol (whose wrote the movie adaptation of Adonis Huxley's "Brave New World" coming 2011), who, with this film, solidifies himself with Charlie Kaufman that he is one of the best unconventional screenwriters in the business. A

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