Tony Crane

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Simone Review


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It might sound contrived to say that a film about a computer-generated movie star is a little flat but... well, there it is. It's the unfortunate truth about writer/director Andrew Niccol's Simone, an Al Pacino-led comedy where Niccol visits some of the same intriguing notions of fame, success, and public perception as in his screenplay for The Truman Show. In that film, the center of attention was a man watched by an adoring and all-knowing viewing audience -- in Simone, the public still loves a superstar... they just have no clue that she's a complete fake.

And not "fake," like some butt-kissing movie actress, but really fake. Simone (or S1m0ne, as Niccol sharply titles the film) is the perfect pixilated creation of a Microsoft-age mad scientist, who's created his flawless CGI actress specifically for floundering moviemaker Viktor Taransky (a truly entertaining Al Pacino). Viktor needs a hit badly and the lead actress on his new feature -- played by Winona Ryder, in a painfully ironic appearance -- has just stormed off his new movie due to "creative differences." Nine months later (human gestation period, if I'm not mistaken) Simone is born to take her place. And since our obsessive inventor has quickly died from an eye tumor, contracted from too much computer use(!), only Viktor knows the true secret of his new lead actress.

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It might sound contrived to say that a film about a computer-generated movie star is...

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