Saturday, December 10, 2016

Now on Netflix: The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show movie poster
The Truman Show (1998) – Directed by Peter Weir; Written by Andrew Niccol; Cinematography by Peter Biziou; Starring Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natasha McElhone, Holland Taylor, Paul Giammati, Phillip Baker Hall, Brian Delate and Una Damon.

By Kenny Howell

A brilliant movie about a guy who has been the subject of a TV show since birth, but he doesn’t realize it. Everyone around him are trained actors playing his wife, his friends, and just the random people in his life. But Truman, the subject of the show played by Jim Carrey (Kick-Ass 2), starts to think something might be up when things start going awry, and he wants to know the truth.

There are a ton of different ways to approach this material. Do you make it a story of a man trying know true freedom? Is it a statement on our obsession with reality television? Is it a statement on our voyeuristic society? The answer to all these questions are yes, as director Weir makes sure to approach all of these questions without dwelling on them or giving any answers.
Some of the fun of the movie is how the TV show operates. It is a show, so there needs to be advertising, so the actors ham it up to the camera occasionally, or back Truman against a sign for a company. It makes for some good laughs, and lightens the heady material a bit.

The cast is outstanding, but special notice goes to Ed Harris (Sweetwater) who plays the maestro of Truman’s life. Harris was coming off an Oscar worthy performance in Apollo 13, and he once again was masterful. He runs the show and treats Truman as his child, but does he truly care for Truman or does he have a God complex? Or is he just trying to exploit this character? The answer to those questions are probably yes again, but nothing is definite, and this movie leaves you with a lot to talk about once the credits start to roll.

The Truman Show
is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ****

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