David Strathairn (Dr. Flintstein) and Paul Giamatti (Himself) in Cold Souls, directed by Sophie Barthes
Paul Giamatti (Himself) and Dina Korzun (Nina) in Cold Souls, directed by Sophie Barthes
Anthony Lane | Roger Ebert | Manohla Dargis | Washington Post | Wall Street Journal | DCist | Movie Review Intelligence
So, the soul is really not serious business in Cold Souls, and there is no deep metaphysical question or enigma like that in Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, whose bleak atmosphere Barthes appears to be emulating at times. Nor is there an abundant supply of humorous whimsy, as in Gondry's unforgettable look into one character's fantasy world in La science des rêves or in the magic-realist scripts of Charlie Kaufman (especially Being John Malkovich, but also Adaptation.). The joke of Cold Souls, such as it is, was extended by the production company with a fake Web site for the Soul Storage company. It's fine that the soul does not mean anything in this version of the universe, but long before the end of the film, I had ceased caring about Paul and his quest to have something so meaningless returned.
Cold Souls is now playing at the Shirlington Cinema in Virginia and the E Street Cinema in Washington, D.C.