Simone

Cast
Viktor Taransky: Al Pacino
Elaine: Catherine Keener
Lainey Taransky: Evan Rachel Wood
Simone: Rachel Roberts
Hank Aleno: Elias Koteas
Nicola Anders Winona Ryder

New Line Cinema presents a film written and directed by Andrew Niccol. Running time: 117 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for some sensuality).

Central Theme
Our relationship with the people in film is an illusionary one in which we as audience feel a connection with someone who does not actually exist.

Story
Viktor Taransky’s so-called career in Hollywood is washed up. Having won some awards in the documentary category, his work has never really caught on and nobody wants to work with him. When his leading actress pulls out of his last-chance film he is desperate enough to take a look at a computer technology that simulates actors. Developed by a recently deceased and completely demented Taransky fan (is there any other kind?), Taransky digitally creates Simone, a hassle free actress who does exactly what her creator/director wants. People connect to her performances and more significantly they bond with her. Her Garbo-esque abstaining from personal appearances only serves to create a mystique and greater demand. Concerts, perfumes a clothing line are all built around the non-existent Simone.

Yet even in her computer generated state she poses a threat to Viktor’s ego. People love her work but view him as dependent on her for his success. Eventually he feels he must destroy her before she utterly consumes him. His relationship with Simone is complicated by his ex-wife and studio boss, who discovers feelings for Viktor she thought she’d lost, but they are triggered and fueled by Simone, whose absence would likely dissipate the renewed affections.

Simone was written, produced and directed by Andrew Niccol, who wrote “The Truman Show” which successfully pushed its premise. This film never quite gets there. It walks the satirical line, develops predictably and ironically finds it’s greatest achievement in the non-connection with the characters real and simulated.

Beliefs num
–Celebrity is illusionary.
–Film is the accessory in the illusion.
¢€œThe public is pathetic in its hunger for the next illusion.
–Hollywood is a superficial snake pit.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Do you agree that film has replaced real life for some people?
–Why are humans entrapped in the celebrity cycle?

Provocative Quotes byline
–It’s not the size of the role. Am I or am I not entitled to the biggest trailer on the lot?
==Nicola to Viktor.
–This film doesn’t deserve you. It deserves much more than you. Creative differences? The difference is you’re not creative.
==Viktor to Nicola.
–I’m not interested in investment and returns. I want to make a movie.
==Viktor to Elaine.
–Not everyday do you get fired by the mother of your own child.
==Viktor to daughter.
–You have something I don’t have. An eye. Yyou know the truth when you see it. You’re the only filmmaker with the eyes to fulfill my vision.
==The loony and dying Hank to Viktor.
–I wanted to send a message to the acting community, for putting themselves above the work.
==Viktor rationalizing Simone’s creation.
–Our ability to manufacture fraud exceeds our ability to protect it.
==Viktor getting in over his head.
–I just find I relate better to people who aren’t actually there.
==A pathetic self-confession from Viktor to Simone.
–We can’t stop now. These films are speaking to the human connection. People need to believe you’re real.
==Viktor rationalizes as the deception is perpetuated.
–You want me so you can be close to her?
==Viktor to an amorous actress who is obsessed with Simone.
–I guess I think actors talk too much.
==Simone in a fake interview.
–You make me feel like a natural woman. Thank you. And never stop believing.
==Simone at her concert to an overwhelmed, fawning audience.
–I can’t believe she is doing this to him — taking advantage of him. This has got to stop. She’s going to leave him. Destroy him.
==Elaine.
–When I saw what she did with the role, I fired all my people, went into therapy, hired an acting coach, changed my whole look. She really inspired me.
==A repentant Nicola trying for a secondary role in a Simone film.
–I can’t accept it dad. I don’t want a car. I want the old Viktor Taransky back. I can’t stand to see you like this, clinging to Simone’s coat tails. It used to be about the work. She didn’t even thank you. You deserve better than Simone.
==Viktor’s daughter.
–I created Simone. I made a human soul. I took nothing and made it something. I made Simone. I made her.
==Vlktor to Elaine.
–Viktor she made you!
==Elaine back to Viktor.
–You’re living a more authentic life than all the people who believe you. You’re looking at the real fraud. I said it was the work. But if that were true I wouldn’t care that you’re getting all the attention. But I do. It’s not that you aren’t human, but that I am.
==Viktor to Simone.
–It’s not her body, but her body of work.
==Viktor eulogizing Simone.
–Your mistake wasn’t in making something fake. Fake is okay so long as you don’t lie about it.
==Daughter to Viktor.

Posted in Movies, Staublog in August 23, 2002 by | No Comments »

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