Projections - Movie Reviews

Simone

Simone

It's hard to imagine intense actor Al Pacino being believable as a flustered film director in his new comedy, but he pulls it off beautifully.

He plays Viktor Taransky, a successful director whose prima donna star (Winona Ryder in a fun cameo) walks off the set in a huff when the picture is almost finished, because her trailer is a tad shorter than her co-star's.

Under pressure from his studio-head (who also happens to be his ex -wife played by Catherine Keener) and eager to finish a picture that he thinks will put him back on top, he resorts to using a computer generated leading lady.  As he says to himself, "If the performance is real, it doesn't matter if the actor is fake."

He secretly creates Simone, a perfect specimen made up of pixels from a program left to him by a strange computer genius after he dies.

Viktor is in his glory with Simone (modeled by Rachel Roberts), she's a director's dream.  She is a great actress, is never late, knows her lines, doesn't require a limo or an elaborate wardrobe, and most-importantly, she has no demands.

The only problem with Simone is, of course, she's not real.  Viktor explains to the rest of the cast who have already filmed their parts separately, that Simone is a recluse and that he has to insert her part at the end of each shooting day.

Soon Simone's popularity explodes and with the intrusive press and increasing demand to meet her, Viktor realizes he might have created a monster.

Writer/director Andrew Niccol (who wrote the screenplay for The Turman Show) uses sharp wit to poke fun at the excesses in Hollywood.

Pacino gives his all to this character.  Besides portraying Victor with all of his mixed bag of emotions, he also gives voice and expression to his digital creation, and he does it with smart bright humor and appeal.

 
Frank
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Tony
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Howard
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Simone
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