6.5/10
9,219
62 user 161 critic

Cold Souls (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 5 May 2010 (France)
Trailer
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Paul is an actor who feels bogged down by his participation in a production of Chekov's play, Vanya.

Director:

Sophie Barthes

Writer:

Sophie Barthes
4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Giamatti ... Paul Giamatti
Armand Schultz ... Astrov
Michael Tucker ... Theatre Director
Dina Korzun ... Nina
Ted Koch ... INS Officer
Oksana Lada ... Sasha
Natalia Zvereva ... Blonde Mule
Larisa Bell Larisa Bell ... Russian Singer
Anna Dyukova Anna Dyukova ... Olga (as Anna Dukova)
Charles Techman ... Soul Storage Doorman
Lauren Ambrose ... Stephanie
David Strathairn ... Dr. Flintstein
Laura Heisler ... Female Client in Promo
Brienin Bryant Brienin Bryant ... Young Woman in Soul Storage
Charlotte Mickie Charlotte Mickie ... Mrs. Rathbone
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Storyline

Civilization and its discontents. Paul, an actor preparing for "Uncle Vanya" on Broadway, is mired in ennui. His agent tells him about an office where he can put his soul in storage. He does so then discovers that being soulless helps neither his acting nor his marriage; he returns to the office and rents, for two weeks, the soul of a Russian poet. His acting improves, but his wife finds him different, he sees bits of the borrowed soul's life, and he's now deep in sorrow. He wants his own soul back, but there are complications: it's in St. Petersburg. With the help of Nina, a Russian who transports souls to the U.S., he determines to get it back. Who has he become? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A soul searching comedy.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook Page

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

5 May 2010 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Alma Perdida See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,302, 9 August 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$903,148, 8 November 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Giamatti plays a fictional version of himself here and was also in The Congress (2013), where Robin Wright plays a fictional version of herself; the plot-lines of both movies involve acting. See more »

Goofs

Dmitri tells the actress not to worry that Paul's soul looks like and is the size of a chickpea, telling her that Al Pacino won three Oscars. Al Pacino has actually only won one Oscar (Best Actor in 1992, Scent of a Woman). See more »

Quotes

Dr. Flintstein: Now, your soul will be be stored here, or, if you'd rather avoid sales tax, it can be shipped to our New Jersey warehouse.
Giamatti - Paul: Un, no. God, no. I don't want my soul shipped to New Jersey. No.
Dr. Flintstein: I understand.
See more »

Connections

References Scarface (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Spokoi'naya Noch
Written by Viktor Tsoy (as Viktor Tsoi)
Performed by Kino
Courtesy of Moroz Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great premise that turns very cold
27 August 2010 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

"Cold Souls" begins with possibly the best premise I have seen on film. It is fitting that screenwriter Sophie Barthes was nominated for Best First Screenplay from the Independent Spirit Awards. Paul Giamatti plays Paul Giamatti, an actor struggling with the weight of Checkov. Uncle Vanya is weighing down his soul. This is a problem afflicting most New Yorkers, but there is now a solution. A company can extract your soul and keep it in storage for you. Brilliant.

The opening scenes offer some insightful humour and intelligent wit, and offers a fair number of laughs for everybody who immediately saw the comedy in the premise. David Strathairn and Giamatti have great interactions and are very funny, both together and on their own.

The rest of movie, though, plays out like a dark mystery or thriller which doesn't really fit the wonderful comedic start. The main obstacle for our hero, and the thriller plot are significantly darker and melodramatic than I was expecting. Although it is titled "Cold Souls", I was hoping for less cold and more soul-fulfilling insightful humour.

It is a dark comedy, so probably a must-see for fans of the genre. However, I think one of the problems with coming up with such an inventive idea, is viewers will likely form their own story line, so if it doesn't play out as you would have written it, it will seem disappointing and disjointed as it did for me. But that being said, the interest and intrigue behind this story would be too much to pass this up.


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