In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a radio show host begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. But when questions about the boy's identity come up, the host's life is thrown into chaos.
By working through problems stemming from his past, Tom Warshaw, an American artist living in Paris, begins to discover who he really is, and returns to his home to reconcile with his family and friends.
In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German ... See full summary »
Hannah Taylor Gordon,
Kids show host Rainbow Randolph is fired in disgrace while his replacement, Sheldon Mopes, aka Smoochy the Rhino, finds himself a rising star. Unfortunately for Sheldon, the kid's TV business isn't all child's play.
Joe's a car salesman with a problem. He has two days to sell 12 cars or he loses his job. This would be a difficult task at the best of times but Joe has to contend with his girlfriends (... See full summary »
The story is set in a world where implanted microchips can record all moments of an individual's life. The chips are removed upon death so the images can be edited into something of a highlight reel for loved ones who want to remember the deceased. Caviezel portrays the leader of the organization that opposes this technology's development. Written by
Pink Floyd's 1983 album, The Final Cut, shares a character with this film, Fletcher (named after Roger Water's father). It isn't clear if this connection is deliberate, but the album also features overtones of tragic loss and memories. See more »
The paper announcing Bannister's death states that he was 54 when he died. But, when Alan loads his implant for the first time, it states that there are 544,628 life hours to review. That number of hours would make him over 62 years of age. See more »
It's a strange profession you have, isn't it, Alan? You take people's lives, make lies out of them.
It's been a long time, Fletcher.
Well, I don't have time to catch up right now.
How can you handle it, Alan? People sleeping and shitting... people stealing from each other... manipulating each other.. the obscenity.
I can't talk, I'm working.
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In six words: great idea-not so great execution. In a slightly vague future, Robin Williams plays a video editor named Alan, his job is assembling 1-2 hour video portraits of deceased clients whose parent's were well off enough to have had them fitted (while still in the womb) with a "Zoe" implant. Named after the corporation that initially developed this device, the implant records (24-7) everything that happens to a person during their lifetime. It is important to the story that viewers understand that these are not memories but actual recordings. This distinction is critical to the plot as well as to one of the interesting questions posed by the film; to what extent have our actual memories been distorted by time.
The editors (called cutters) must distill down this lifetime of footage into a brief highlights video, discretely deleting scenes that would be offensive to the family of the decreased. This is not that different than the writers of obituary notices (see "Closer"). The video is shown at a special memorial service called a "rememory". To add some unnecessary complexity to the story there is a violent protest group who object to the whole concept. The basis of their objection is never adequately explained but seems to be centered on the fact that the footage is by necessity all from the person's own "point-of-view", with the protesters chanting "remember for yourself".
Of course a Cutter sees everything (mostly in fast motion) making him or her privy to a person's every secret and sin. In the film they briefly raise the most interesting question posed by this whole idea, if you knew that someone (be it man or God) would replay your entire life, to what extent would it change your behavior? In the film most (but not all) people with the implant are aware that they have it.
Knowing all this stuff makes Alan a lonely man. His philosophy: "The dead mean nothing to me, I took this job out of respect for the living", has caused him to avoid close interpersonal relationships, which might compromise the many confidences he is keeping. Within the closed community of cutters he is known as a "Sin Eater" because of his willingness to sanitize the lives of the scum of the earth, accepting clients that the other cutters reject. Williams looks even sadder and more depressed than in did in "What Dreams May Come". It is a extremely restrained performance, not especially challenging but perfectly suited to the mood of this film.
Alan gets in trouble when he takes on a project for a rich widow (Stephanie Romanov). Her husband knew a lot of corporate secrets and had been playing around with their young daughter. This "messing around with something much bigger" has a Raymond Chandler feel to it, and this fits nicely with what might be called a futuristic film noir production design.
Overall the many interesting ethical and philosophical questions raised by "The Final Cut" are more interesting than the film itself. In fact, there is so little real suspense and character identification that the viewing process is mostly an exercise in pulling yourself back from your contemplation of earlier scenes so that you can follow what is happening on the screen.
The film goes wrong by introducing a parallel story about Alan's childhood. While well handled, it fails in its purpose of explaining his adult motivations. By the end we care nothing about his character or his actions and are back to day dreaming about the many issues the film raises but does not adequately address.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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