On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.
In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
The career of a disillusioned producer, who is desperate for a hit, is endangered when his star walks off the film set. Forced to think fast, the producer decides to digitally create an actress "Simone" to sub for the star--the first totally believable synthetic actress. The "actress" becomes an overnight sensation, with a major singing career as well, and everyone thinks she's a real person. However, as Simone's fame skyrockets, he cannot bear to admit his fraud to himself or the world.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Al Pacino's character's name is Viktor Taransky, a reference to Victor Frankenstein. It may be an oblique reference to long-time first and second unit assistant director Victor Tourjansky, best known for his work on James Bond movies. See more »
After Elaine and Lainey find the computer and the virus, they restore it. However, Viktor threw the hard disk away. See more »
After the credits finish, there is a scene with Victor using a camcorder in a supermarket. He pulls a cart along with a string and films it moving "by itself", he pushes it and then follows it filming, he walks up to various products and tosses them into the cart, filming everything from various angles. This is followed by the "completed" shot of Simone, casually making her shopping selections. Finally, we see the Echo Magazine reporter, watching Simone shopping on TV. He sighs, and says, "She likes chicken pot pie. Just like me." See more »
The DVD will contain 19 deleted and alternate scenes. See more »
Very good satire on the cult of celebrity, in which the whole world falls all over itself in praise of a non-existent actress. The movie also deals, to a much lesser extent, with the conflict between wanting to create a perfect artistic vision and wanting to create art that is in the world. It's not the most pointed or savage of satires, but it is quite a funny one. Some people here have criticized it for being predictable, which really misses the point of satire. Satire is based to a great extent on the frightening predictability of people, and it must follow a logical train of escalating events or what's the point. The biggest failing in the movie is near the end where it jumps track from a logical train of events to a dumb plot device, which while not a fatal error is lazy and takes away from the overall effect of the film.
But mainly it's just funny. Consistently so from beginning to end. And also notable as about the only good performance I've seen from Winona Ryder since Mermaids.
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