The Truman Show (1998)
Man. Where do I even begin? Every time I watch this show it just gets better. Do I start with the incredibly clever plot? As summed up best by this dialogue between Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) and creator Christof (Ed Harris):
“Who are you?”
“I am the Creator – of a television show that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions.”
“Then who am I?”
“You’re the star.”
“Was anything real?”
“You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch.”
Perfectly interspersed with back story (I’d kill to see some more archive footage), off-set characters, and exclusive interviews with Christof – The Truman Show is creativity at its finest. It’s especially ironic since it came before the world’s reality TV obsession. It is perfectly well paced, clever yet deep, and feels fresh and new, even twelve years later.
The acting is sensational. Jim Carrey has never been better – curse you Academy for the Oscar snub, there is absolutely no excuse. This is not the first time Peter Weir has given new range to labeled actors (Harrison Ford in Witness for example) and Carrey is fantastic. Being in nearly every scene he is funny, serious, emotional, and we come to really care about him. He sweeps us along in this fantastic journey and gahhhhh I can’t say enough that he should have been nominated.
The icing on the cake, IMO, is Ed Harris. Nominated for an Supporting Actor Oscar in this role (at least something was recognized), he is the perfect mixture of obsessive, arrogant, creatively insane, and eerily quiet. One of the best crafted scenes in the movie is when Truman is finally reunited with his father. This is where we really see what “The Truman Show” is all about. Just after Marlon is getting lines whispered in his ear for the set up, we are treated with Christof’s executive power to the whole show. “Hold the fog. No, no close up yet. Wait for it… cue music. [music grows] Now zoom in. There, that’s it.” Applause, applause. “That’ll boost up the ratings!” someone shouts. And Christof breaths a sigh of relief. It’s tough being so creative.
The camerawork, acting, scenery, dialogue, music, cinematography, supporting performances (Noah Emmerich), direction, and mood are top notch. This is a solid movie in which I would make no changes. 10/10
“And in case I don’t see you – good afternoon, good evening, and good night.”
p.s. This is my first 10 point review. Kind of exciting, no?