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Review: The Congress

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 02/09/2014 at 15:27
1 comments » - Tagged as Art, Health, Movies, People, Drugs

The Congress

Director: Ari Folman 

Starring: Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm (voice only), Paul Giamatti, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danny Huston, Sami Gayle, Michael Stahl-David, Michael Landes & Sarah Shahi.

Rating: 15

Running Time: 122 mins

Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir was an emotionally-wrought and cinematic pearl of 2008 (with an Oscar nomination to boot). In his newest feature, he has upped the ante, but has also gone a step back. It's taken him years to put this together. 

Based on the cult novel by StanisÅ‚aw LemRobin Wright (as herself) is an unsuccessful actress who is down on her luck. Living near an airport with a child going deaf, she is desperate to take any offer given to her. An opportunity arises, but at a price. A film company offers to virtually replicate her in every way, allowing them to use her image in any film they can think of: musical, horror, porn, sci-fi (she opposed of this genre!) and more. At first reluctant, she soon caves in and begins the process...

20 years later, we see her in a virtual animated world, where her image continues being churned out. Her visit to this resort results in the total breakdown of the cartoon world in which people are revelling. With the help of Dylan (voiced by Mad Men's Jon Hamm), can she save her son and herself, or even what is left of her former self?

 photo thecongress1_zps7ba5c8a0.jpg

The Congress is a film of two halves: one live action, the other animated. The latter half is exceptional. An opening scene into the animated side is violently hallucinogenic and a marker for things to come. The live action side is pleasing (its length goes on for some time), but the other half is why this film gets bums on seats. After seeing such a lush world, you simply don't want to see the messy and depressing real world again (the cleverness of the film's message of fantasy vs. reality). Owing a lot to numerous animators, this film also shares the sci-fi themes of several other films (with a brief homage to Doctor Strangelove) and also the morality of selling oneself. 

A trippy and gorgeous visual feast, peppered with a great vitality. 

Rating: 8/10

If you enjoyed any one of these films, then you will love The Congress:

The Matrix 
Who Framed Framed Roger Rabbit?
Yellow Submarine
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Waking Life
A Scanner Darkly
Blade Runner
V for Vendetta 

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1 CommentPost a comment

Jeff the Fridge

Jeff the Fridge

Commented 20 months ago - 3rd September 2014 - 19:26pm

I am very intrigued by this and would really like to check it out

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