4 Movie Clips: COLD SOULS – Premiered at Sundance

     February 10, 2009

Written by Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

“Cold Souls” premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and it was one of those films I wanted to see…but due to scheduling, never made a screening. Thankfully, Samuel Goldwyn has picked up the Sophie Barthes film, so we’ll all be able to catch it later this year when it gets released.

If you haven’t heard of “Cold Souls”, it stars Paul Giamatti as a famous actor named Paul Giamatti, and it follows him as he explores getting his soul removed as a relief from the burdens of daily life. Many of my friends that saw the film compared it to a Charlie Kaufman movie. That’s a good thing.

Anyway, while we all have to wait to see it, I’ve been given four movie clips and they’re below the official synopsis. I’ve got to say, the movie looks very interesting…

Rehearsing to play Uncle Vanya on a New York stage, Paul Giamatti feels that his emotional life is getting in the way of his performance. After consulting with the affable Dr. Flintstein (David Strathairn), he decides to try an experimental service called “Soul Storage,” which provides relief from man’s existential burden through the extraction (and cold storage) of the soul. Yet the side effects – he’s now bizarrely buoyant and blithely callous – send him back to “rent” the soul of a Russian poet, salvaging his Vanya but leading to disturbing visions. Plans to reclaim his soul are dashed when a mysterious, soul-trafficking Russian “mule” (Korzun) steals Giamatti’s stored soul for an ambitious, but talentless, soap-opera actress (Winnick) in St. Petersburg. Suddenly thrust into the middle of a twisted black market of international soul trafficking, the actor journeys halfway around the world to reclaim what he’d so readily given away.

An indelible story that approaches deep philosophical questions with a light, beguiling touch, writer-director Sophie Barthes’s wise and funny first feature evokes everything from Woody Allen’s SLEEPER to the novels of Nikolai Gogol. Featuring a hilarious and heartbreaking performance by the always-game Giamatti and memorable turns by an all-star cast, COLD SOULS is a poetic, entertaining, and confidently ambitious piece of filmmaking.


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