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.
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,
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
Director Cameo: Omar Naim is the man sitting at the bar before Robin Williams confronted the man in the bathroom. See more »
At the beginning of the film, a young Alan Hakman looks at the body of a boy who has fallen from a great height, lying in a puddle of blood. Later in the film, we revisit this scene in a flashback and learn that the puddle is actually a can of red paint that Hakman has knocked over. But in the first scene, the puddle is already there before Hakman approaches the body, and we never see him knock over the paint. See more »
Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
(Onscreen as "Violin Partite No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002")
By Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Lucy Van Dael, Violin
Courtesy of Naxos by Arrangement with Source/Q See more »
God bless IFC. If it weren't for them, I'd probably never have seen this splendid film, and it is a very, very good one. I'm going to have to start looking out for more Canadian-made features at this rate, because their studios have shouldered their way to the forefront of the global film industry, and "The Final Cut" is a great example of what I'm talking about.
"The Final Cut" takes place in the indefinite future, a time when modern technology has made it possible for those who can afford it to outfit their children before birth with a device, the Zöe Implant, that creates a faithful, total, lifelong visual record of their lives, to be retrieved after their death. The idea is to create a vivid, tangible memorial of the deceased, to be screened at funerals or even placed in handsomely mounted screens on tombstones.
Other reviewers have had a problem with the oddly circumscribed nature of how memories can only be accessed after their death in "The Final Cut," but it's an essential part of this oddly touching, haunting story. The limitations of the technique shape the story and define how its characters must cope with some very hard and unpleasant facts.
Of course, you don't pay extra money to let strangers walk through your memories unedited, and an elite class of people exist to, er, clean up the raw footage. They're called "Cutters" and the late Robin Williams shines as the central Cutter in "The Final Cut." (I mean, when's the last time this guy didn't shine? "Toys?" "Mork and Mindy" on bad days?).
Surprisingly, so does Jim Caviezel, in a role much more demanding and complex than anything I've seen him tackle before, not a two-dimensional good guy, for once. (Playing Jesus Christ sure does mess with people's expectations of you - Peter O'Toole is the only actor I'm aware of who carried it off without damage to his career afterward, albeit in a very skewed way, in "The Ruling Class".) I am honestly impressed with the performance Caviezel put in for "The Final Cut," with its texture and depth, very impressive for a supporting character in a movie that's only an hour and a half long.
Mira Sorvino is also good, playing a fellow Cutter - Cutters are an odd, wonkish ilk, it turns out, and she manages to create a not-hackneyed, not-stereotypical hacker character with warmth and verve.
But the screenplay and directing, done by Omar Naim, are what make this film. It's better than any Philip K. Dick adaptation I've ever seen, and the production values are also solid - the score beautiful, foreboding, haunting by turns, stylish and well-suited to the action; the cinematography and other technical values spot-on (except for an isolated loss of audio-visual sync that really takes looking for, someone else has commented on it here in the "trivia" section).
And Naim gets it all done in an hour and a half. I'm sick and tired of directors who take an extra hour mainly showing us how skilled they are - it was a major failing of the Australian remake of "On The Beach" in 2000 - and I am soooo glad that Mr. Naim has resisted the temptation. It only took him an hour and a half to totally make his name as far as I'm concerned with "The Final Cut." It's a crisp, professional corker of a science-fiction thriller with very few slow places, lots of twists and a plot that won't let you relax until five minutes after the end credits.
I can't recommend this film highly enough.
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