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REVIEW: The Congress

REVIEW: The Congress

Ari Folman is one of the most creative writer/ directors out there.  His  Oscar-nominated animated “Waltz With Bashir” was  amazing.  This one gets an “A” for effort  but  it’s a little too creative for its own good.

Based on the book “The Futurological Congress”, Robin Wright stars as herself, except her career is in a tailspin (in real life, Wright is hotter than ever). This movie  is  the ultimate statement against motion capture and the ever encroaching technolization of  Hollywood and society.

Robin Wright basically sells her  soul to the Hollywood devil.   Her final job, has Wright  selling  her digital  likeness to  the Miramount studio, as in Miramax/ Paramount. Danny Huston plays the head of the studio, who can now use Wright’s likeness any way he wants.  The human  Robin collects the  substantial paycheck. Her computer chip  and the people who control it do all the work.

Harvey Keital stars as her manipulative longtime agent.  Sami Gayle (of “Blue Blood” fame) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (the kid in the completely depressing apocalyptic film “The Road”) play her kids.  Her son suffers from Usher Syndrome, which robs victims of  hearing and sight. Paul Giamatti  is the doctor who treats  him.

This  is really two  films.  The second one begins  midway through , 20 years later. That’s where the film goes animated and goes off course. The animation isn’t great , though Folman has a lot of  fun with it, throwing in Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson and  Yoko Ono. Jon Hamm (seen only in animation) plays a studio employee from the “Robin” department who falls in love with her.

Robin Wright is tremendous and so is the  very  provocative first half of the film.  The second half is  a disappointing  psychedelic trip.

Let’s call this one  creative but flawed.  It’s definitely  a one-of-a-kind.


2 and a half stars


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