Daily Archives: June 2, 1998

The Truman Show

Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) thinks he lives in a model island community, but then he discovers that his entire life has been televised without interruption as The Truman Show; his family and friends, along with everyone else in town, are actors and extras, and the island itself is a TV studio. Half-clever and half-dumb, though always interesting and provocative, this 1998 fantasy was written with some wit by Andrew Niccol and directed with some style by Peter Weir. It makes better sense as allegory than as SF premise, expecting you to accept that the viewing public consists of jerks (except for you and me and other media-savvy types) and that the Truman Show creator (Ed Harris, radiating holiness) who services the jerks is a godlike genius. In short, this pretends to be daring while parroting what much of the TV industry already thinks about itself and its audience. But it’s still pretty much fun to watch. With Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, and Holland Taylor. 103 min. (JR) Read more

A Perfect Murder

Less a remake of Frederick Knott’s play and Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Dial M for Murder than a variation on some of the same materials. This nasty, watchable, but instantly forgettable thriller combines Michael Douglas at his most reptilian with Gwyneth Paltrow in the classy Grace Kelly part, planting the married couple in ultraswank New York settings, throwing in Viggo Mortensen as Paltrow’s downtown lover (a character with no counterpart in the original), and adding twists to keep us from falling asleep. There’s nothing to wake us up either: this is simply efficient, routine storytelling with a high gloss but an undernourished sense of character. Directed by Andrew Davis from a script by Patrick Smith Kelly. (JR) Read more