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S1m0ne
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S1m0ne More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This film was just awful

2/10
Author: adog from SF
9 April 2003

Hollywood directors really need to get a grip on reality. This film sucked on many levels.

The ficticious films directed by Al Pacino's character in the film itself looked like they sucked marginally more than this film itself. The actor that played Simone's acting was as non existent as her fictional character, and the director's fantasy that the general public would adore an artificially created actor is as unrealistic as the real director of this movie believing that the real general public would put up with such a weak movie!

Stay away from this movie. Do something more useful with your time.

Alex

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12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Embarrassingly bad

1/10
Author: james-1864 from United Kingdom
6 August 2006

This film is so utterly naive in its conception, and so dismally executed I'm actually in shock that it classifies as a film at all. Never before have i witnessed such a cringe-inducing 'plot' performed so half-heartedly. Al Pacino aught to know better - I guess he was simply trying to avoid being typecast. Well watch out Al, you'll get typecast as someone with poor taste in scripts. Seriously, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

Simone herself is even more soulless and bland that a real computer graphic. In fact Pixars animated characters manage to have 1000% more life that there is in this drone-like performance. The computer effects - where they show Pacino 'editing' Simone - are laughable too - they bely a director who has never used a computer and makes no attempt to make any part of this film even vaguely conceivable.

The plot is dire, the dialogue is coma-inducing, and the twist is so predictable as to surprise only the very feeblest of minds. This is genuinely one of the worst, most flaccid films I have ever seen. I was actually looking around the audience in disbelief to see if they were as flabbergasted at its rubbishness as I was.

Seriously, save yourself some money - wait till it comes out on TV (probably within 6 months).

Then smash your TV.

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Creating the perfect actress

8/10
Author: NateWatchesCoolMovies from Canada
10 June 2017

Andrew Niccol's S1mone is social satire at its cheeriest, a pleasant, endearing dissection of Hollywood mania and celebrity obsession that only hints at the level of menace one might achieve with the concept. It's less of a cautionary tale and more of a comedic fable, and better for it too. In a glamorous yet used up Hollywood, mega producer Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino with some serious pep in his step) needs to give his enterprise a makeover. His go-to star (Winona Ryder) is a preening diva who drives him up the wall, and there seems to be a glaring absence of creative juice in his side of the court. Something cutting edge, something brand new and organic, something no one else has. But what? Simone, that's what. After finding clandestine software left behind by a deceased Geppeto-esque computer genius (Elias Koteas, excellent), he downloads what lies within, and all manner of mayhem breaks loose. The program was designed to create the perfect virtual reality woman, flawless and capable in every way, including that of the cinematic thespian. Viktor sees this as gold and treats it as such, carefully introducing Simone (played by silky voiced model Rachel Roberts) to an unsuspecting film industry who are taken by storm and smitten. Simone can tirelessly churn out five Oscar worthy performances in a month, never creates on set drama, whips up scandals or demands pay raises. She's the answer to everyone's problem, except for the one issue surrounding her very presence on the screen: she isn't actually real. This creates a wildly hysterical dilemma for Pacino, a fiery Catherine Keener as a fellow executive, and everyone out there who's had the wool pulled over their starry eyes. It's the kind of tale we'd expect from Barry Levinson or the like, a raucously funny, warmhearted, pithily clever send up of the madness that thrives in the movie industry every day. There's all manner of cameos and supporting turns including Evan Rachel Wood, Jay Mohr, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Jason Schwartzman, Rebecca Romjin and the late Daniel Von Bargen as a detective who cheekily grills Pacino when things get real and the masses want answers. This is fairy tale land in terms of plausibility, but it's so darn pleasant and entertaining that it just comes off in a relatable, believable manner. Pacino is having fun too, a frenzied goofball who tries his damnedest to safeguard his secret while harried on all sides by colleagues and fans alike. Roberts is sensual and symmetrical as the computer vixen, carefully walking a tightrope between robotic vocation and emoting, essentially playing an actress pretending to be an actress who isn't even human, no easy task. It's a breezy package that's never too dark or sobering, yet still manages to show the twisted side of a famously strange industry. Great stuff.

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Should Have Been a Hit

9/10
Author: generationofswine from United States
23 October 2016

I don't see the problem with this, it has everything a movie should need to be a hit.

I mean, Al Pacino is in it. Sure you feel sort of robbed if you sit through a Pacino movie and he hasn't screamed and yelled by the end of it. Something about snakes on a...wait, that's Sam Jackson, but it was an easy mistake, we go to see their films for largely the same reason.

But even if he didn't scream and yell and threaten to take a flame-thrower to this place...it's still Al Pacino, so you have to see it. He DID give us the hands-down best documentary on Shakespeare ever made.

And it had Winona Ryder in it, and she's not only a great actress but, if you are my age, you had a crush on her growing up.

Jay Mohr, the man who was in EVERY 90s movie ever made.

So the movie is worth seeing for the cast, there is talent there.

But wait there is more, Andrew Niccol wrote it...you know Gattaca, The Terminal, Lord of War, The Truman Show...the dude has a seriously sharp pen and S1m0ne is no exception.

The script is tight, it went places, it had points and plot lines seldom made in this era of plot less pointless popcorn munching entertainment.

Not only that, but the directing was solid too.

It should have been a force to be reckoned with in the box office...and yet no one has seen it.

Check it out, it's a good film and one that is going to be rediscovered and praised, in the future, when critics and audiences learn how to think again.

Once society starts using that lump that's three-feet above their...well, if it came out in the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, you's have heard about it and seen it on EW's Movies to See Before you Die list.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, it came out at the birth of the re-make era where originality is shunned.

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Awful!!

3/10
Author: adonis98-743-186503 from Greece
11 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A producer's film is endangered when his star walks off, so he decides to digitally create an actress to substitute for the star, becoming an overnight sensation that everyone thinks is a real person. S1m0ne stars Al Pacino, Evan Rachel Wood and Winona Ryder and although all 3 of them are talented actors unfortunately the film is pretty awful and boring it's all about this producer played by Pacino trying to built a name around this fake actress that doesn't exist and the result is just slow pacing and weird characters making no sense i tried to understand this but also like it but it gave me nothing to enjoy or even like it was just boring and dumb and it's sad cause Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors ever born.

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The Future Is Now

8/10
Author: Predrag (pzivojinovic@yahoo.com) from Serbia
14 May 2016

This is a very smart, funny, and observant film about Hollywood, the media in general, and the public, and how they manipulate each other. The film pokes good natured fun at Hollywood and the media, and also makes some good points about the manner in which some stars become almost gods, worshipped by millions of fans, and how people are inclined to make very favorable assumptions about those who they adore. Pacino - superb as the down-trodden producer. Looks younger at the beginning of the film, and as Simone (his computer generated protégé played by Rachel Roberts), wins the film world, his appearance ages as the stress of maintaining the facade takes its toll. There is a poignant moment in the film, when Pacino is creating Simone's voice in a taped interview. In that moment, he makes you realize he loves his creation, and at the same time, becomes aware of his own underlying Hollywood narcissism as Simone is as an extention of his own personality and creativity. It explores the dark side of human with light humour and is disturbing as a social commentary on the adverse effects on computer proliferation. This comedy is smart, screechingly funny and unpretentious fun that comes as real and into-your-face as it can be.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.

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S1m0ne - a film about the realest animated person you'll see

8/10
Author: mattiasflgrtll6 from Sweden
11 March 2016

Viktor Taransky is a director who is very ambitious about his work, but both critics and the audience think his movies are awful. The only reason he still makes money is because of his main star. But when the spoiled actor Nicola quits (who is in all of his movies), he has to get a new one. That turns out to be more difficult than he expected, but one day a mysterious figure approaches him and offers up an unusual solution: a computer generated woman...

Al Pacino has a few underrated movies under his belt, and this is one of them. It kinda is a science-fiction comedy, except it interestingly enough is not as far from reality that you'd think. Considering how much technology has advanced and that there already have been several instances of fake "actors" used in movies (like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Salvation), who knows when this actually might become a reality?

The funny thing is that even with his new star, Taransky doesn't seem to accomplish what he wishes for: that people recognize the MEANING of his work, not just the face of them. It's a great satire on how shallow media has become, that stardom and popularity is all that matters, not movie making itself. The obsession goes so far that he gets pressured to make her really appear in front of everybody, which causes problems. The comedy in this movie is well-executed, but if you are looking for non-stop belly laughs this is not where you'll find it. It's very dark, and sometimes the jokes are uncomfortable and sad at the same time as they are funny. You really do feel sorry for Taransky, and Pacino does an absolutely wonderful job playing him. I know this is not his most popular movie, but his performance was Oscar-worthy. The acting from everyone else is mostly, you know, fine. I do however really like Rachel Roberts as Simone, who has a few very funny moments. You can almost understand why she would draw attention, she has that face you don't forget.

There is quite a bit of drama as well, maybe more so than there is comedy. But it's done very well, and Taransky struggling with getting recognition in life and juggling his relationship with ex-wife Elaine and manufactured Simone makes for some heartfelt moments. The dialogue is well-written, almost poetic at times. And the way this movie ended was nothing short of perfect.

I'd say it's very good, in spite of the low rating and negative reviews. This movie won't suit everyone, and might make some people confused or frown. But I suggest you give it a chance if the premise interests you and you want something out of the ordinary.

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Intriguing but No Gattaca.

6/10
Author: Python Hyena from Canada
10 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

S1m0ne (2002): Dir: Andrew Niccol / Cast: Al Pacino, Catherine Keener, Winona Ryder, Rachel Roberts, Evan Rachel Wood: Great idea that unfortunately concludes with a poor payoff. Al Pacino plays a struggling filmmaker whose latest film is about to be shelved after his leading actress walks out. He receives his answer in a computer generated woman named Simone whom he creates via disc. Now his films are automatic hits but since Simone doesn't exist it leave Pacino to fake interviews. His daughter still believes in him and his wife still produces his films out of sympathy. Interesting concepts falls into formula with a payoff that allows people to accept a lie. Director Andrew Niccol succeeds with his technical emphasis that may bear truths. His previous film was another futuristic epic to far superior effect called Gattaca. Pacino has fun with the role as he struggles to fool and manipulate the media. Catherine Keener as his ex-wife is unfortunately standard fare. Winona Ryder appears briefly as a snobbish actress but more would have been sufficient. Rachel Roberts is quite the sight as the stunning lie who would be Simone. It plays with the idea of the media's standards for physical beauty and the attitudes that accompany the whole charade. Theme of media manipulation and industry deceit are evident as reality vanquishes within the realm of visual effect technology. Score: 6 / 10

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Almost there

7/10
Author: J-bot6 from Canada
18 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off, it was nice to see Al Pacino a different type of character for a change. Between that and the fact that I found myself laughing out loud at numerous points during this film, it was difficult to decide whether I'd rate this film a 7 or an 8. In my rating system, 7 is a solid film and 8 is an exceptional film. I rarely give out 9s. 10s are cases where the film is pretty much flawless while offering massive replay value. That said, a seven is a respectable rating.

Now for the topic that this film addresses. The possibility of virtual actors and the very real obsessive behavior of a lot of fans out there. The cult of celebrity is something that is encouraged by the studios. One could say that it's at the expense of the actors. Or course, people could counter that by saying that actors are well compensated. Well.... I suppose some are. Still though, it's sad to watch celebrities unravel under the pressure of fame.

As for virtual reality actors, I've done my time in the field of visual effects, so I can say that what's presented in this film is pretty much possible today. We're so very close and the YouTube video "Ed" by Chris Jones is the most recent confirmation that reality can be simulated very effectively using today's software and hardware.

Now does that mean that I think virtual actors will take over the industry and displace real actors? The answer is no. People who haven't tried making virtual characters generally don't realize the sheer amount of humanity that goes into making those characters looks and act real. There's a person (or a group of people) working their asses off. And the sheer amount of real human reference that's required is massive. It's painstaking and there's a point where the law of diminishing returns begins to kick in. Yes, it's possible to convince people for short scenes or shots. However, the technical effort required to totally convince people that a virtual character is real for a two-hour motion picture is astronomical. One slip. One tiny flaw in the shading, lighting, texturing, or animation and the illusion is broken. This is a reason why all-CGI films that do attempt to simulate reality are very careful to select only the most convincing scenes for their trailers.

Last but not least, there's something vacant in most virtual characters. Again, it may be possible to simulate emotion in the eyes for short a short duration. However, I've yet to see one that can do this consistently. The problem becomes even more of a challenge when you introduce code to create an 'automated' artificial intelligence version of the character. Movies love to present virtual characters that 'run on their own' and present them as something that's supposed to be convincing. Something that sophisticated that actually fools both the eyes and the heart is something I'd certainly have to see to believe.

So it is that this sort of technology will likely remain in the realm of background scenes and for stand-ins for shots that are too dangerous (or just too cumbersome) for a real actor to play. And that's likely for the best. As mentioned in the behind-the-scenes footage for this film, many CG animators are themselves frustrated actors. I know a number of them and it's interesting to watch them look into the mirror... making faces to themselves for reference for their digital counterparts.

As a movie that has something to say, I think this succeeded. It too holds a mirror up to the state of Hollywood today (and many of the uber-fans that flock to its films and chase after celebrities). There's some very sharp and funny satire in this film. Much of it is very true. Anyone who has worked in the film and television industry will have a tough time not laughing at how spot-on the jokes are. And to that I applaud the actors. They did a great job. I don't think they need worry about being replaced by machines.

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A weird movie.

2/10
Author: lisafordeay from Ireland
2 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Al Pacino plays a guy who works in Hollywood who has no actress to star in his movies. So what does he do why create a actress of course using a computer and calling his creation Simone. His creation is so good people assume that Simone is a real person but she is really a hollogram. So will anyone know that Pacino's actress is really not real.

I haven't seen this in a very long time but I remember watching this on TV and it was a bit stupid. The acting was awful,the story was atrious and overall it was a bad film. Avoid watching this one.

2/10

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