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Simone (2002)

A star is... created.

Original Title : S1m0ne
Director : Andrew Niccol
Writer : Andrew Niccol
Genre : Comedy
Sci-Fi
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Bradley Cramp , Michael De Luca , Danny DeVito , Lynn Harris (I) , Daniel Lupi , Andrew Niccol , Michael Shamberg (I) , Stacey Sher
Music : Carter Burwell
Photography : Derek Grover
Edward Lachman
Distributor : Cinergia Ltd. [ua]
MPAA Rating : Rated PG-13 for some sensuality.
IMDB ID : 0258153
Official site : http://www.amalgamatedfilms.com/
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poster for "Simone" by Andrew Niccol (2002)
Simone (2002) - Andrew Niccol
 

Starring

Al Pacino Viktor Taransky
Benjamin Salisbury P.A.
Winona Ryder Nicola Anders
Darnell Williams Studio Executive
Jim Rash Studio Executive
Ron Perkins Studio Executive
Jay Mohr Hal Sinclair
Jay Mohr Hal Sinclair
 

Plot

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.
 

Comments

Nothing brilliant, but a fun movie The premise of "Simone" is extremely original and quite masterful.The screenplay is by Andrew Niccol who wrote "The Truman Show" and seems fascinated by the thin line between fantasy and reality, and what happens when we cross that line.It is possible that synthetic actresses, created on one's computer, can replace real actresses (as shown in an early scene in the movie, Hollywood actresses can be a huge pain in the behind, in the case of Winona Ryder's character who begged for a huge trailer and all the cherry Mike and Ikes to be taken out of her candy bowl), but hopefully that won't one day happen.They'll never be able to replace the authenticity of human actresses, but then again we use computers a lot (CGI) to gloss over many elements of film outside of an actor's performance. The idea of a director being able to use a synthetic actress in his movies without his other cast members noticing a glitch gives the audience much disbelief to suspend, but since the premise is so darn interesting and nifty I was willing to go along with it.But Niccol could've at least done something about the plot holes.For example, Al Pacino's character reveals early in the film that he knows nothing about computers.So what makes us believe that in 9 months a computer illiterate man will be able to construct every maneuver of this synthetic actress with the greatest of ease?Also, it appears that Simone can only speak when Pacino speaks.Then how was Simone able to speak to the actors during the read-through even before Pacino drove over to the headquarters? There's even a wimpy subplot involving Pacino being divorced from his wife, who works with him as a producer and he has a precocious little daughter who sees him now and then.It didn't hinder the plot too much, but at the same time it wasn't really needed.Pacino's almost always brilliant, so it was fun watching him in this movie.Catherine Keener is also an engaging actor, as well as being very attractive.Jason Schwartzman, who's a talented actor with fine potential and unfortunately got stuck in two cruddy movies ("Rushmore" and "Slackers"), is given an extremely thankless role which could've been played by a robot.Hopefully, one day he'll star in a movie that's both good and makes great use of his talent.The actress who plays Simone is perfectly cast, as she's the stereotype of beauty (blonde hair, slim figure, radiant smile, etc.). The movie isn't as much of a comedy as it appears in the trailers.It isn't too much a drama either, but don't expect to be laughing your head off.I also expected that Simone would go haywire and start to take on a life of her own, which would later cause Pacino's character to blow up.At least that's what I gathered from the trailers.I think the plot would've more interesting if that were to happen. "Simone" turned out to be a massive failure at the box office, but don't take its minute box office numbers too seriously, because it really isn't a bad film at all.I expected more out of it, but altogether it was a fun experience. My score:7 (out of 10)
 
poster for "Simone"
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Simone (2002) - Andrew Niccol
poster for "Simone"
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Simone (2002) - Andrew Niccol
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