6.5/10
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60 user 162 critic

Cold Souls (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 5 May 2010 (France)
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Paul is an actor who feels bogged down by his participation in a production of Chekov's play, Vanya.

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4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paul Giamatti
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Astrov
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Theatre Director
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Nina
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INS Officer
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Sasha
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Blonde Mule
Larisa Bell ...
Russian Singer
Anna Dyukova ...
Olga (as Anna Dukova)
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Soul Storage Doorman
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Stephanie
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Dr. Flintstein
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Female Client in Promo
Brienin Bryant ...
Young Woman in Soul Storage
Charlotte Mickie ...
Mrs. Rathbone
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Storyline

Civilization and its discontents. Paul, an actor preparing for "Uncle Vanya" on Broadway, is mired in ennui. His agent tells him about an office where he can put his soul in storage. He does so then discovers that being soulless helps neither his acting nor his marriage; he returns to the office and rents, for two weeks, the soul of a Russian poet. His acting improves, but his wife finds him different, he sees bits of the borrowed soul's life, and he's now deep in sorrow. He wants his own soul back, but there are complications: it's in St. Petersburg. With the help of Nina, a Russian who transports souls to the U.S., he determines to get it back. Who has he become? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A soul searching comedy.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity and brief strong language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 May 2010 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Alma Perdida  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$63,302 (USA) (7 August 2009)

Gross:

$903,148 (USA) (6 November 2009)
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Company Credits

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired and infused by Carl Jung's "Modern Man in Search of a Soul". See more »

Goofs

Dmitri tells the actress not to worry that Paul's soul looks like and is the size of a chickpea, telling her that Al Pacino won three Oscars. Al Pacino has actually only won one Oscar (Best Actor in 1992, Scent of a Woman). See more »

Quotes

Giamatti - Paul: Are you telling me, my soul is a chick pea?
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Connections

References Scarface (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Tout Est Fini
Author Kévin Leadbetter
Composer Gérard Duget Grasser
Performed by Alexandra Roos
(c) 2008 Free Demo
Courtesy of Naïve
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User Reviews

 
an almost brilliant idea, almost amazing performance, and an almost terrific film
11 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Cold Souls (2009)

This is a concept movie, in a way, though the concept--that you can have your soul extracted and stored in a jar so that you can live without its weight--is actually a bit thin after awhile. What drives it is not something actually heavy or surreal, about having and trading real souls, but more the idea that your soul also affects, very slightly, your personality, or your talent. So really what happens is people begin to trade or borrow souls, and they acquire a little bit of the owner's qualities. And that carries along a few consequences. naturally.

Everything is presented in a deadpan comic way. The souls stored in their foot long glass jars vary greatly, some looking like creative sculptures and others like, well, a jelly bean. Or in the case of our hero, Paul Giamatti, a garbanzo bean. (The Russian half of the cast says in joyful astonishment, "a chick pea!")

Giamatti is not my favorite actor but all my friends think he's terrific and I like the type he plays, a schlumpy everyman with Homer Simpson eyes. And Giamatti, who plays a character named Paul Giamatti, makes this movie. It isn't a tour de force, an Al Pacino or Cate Blanchett jaw-dropper, though I think it's meant to be (he even has roles within roles, with his character rehearsing a stage play). To some extent his willingness to succumb to the movie's simple, clever plot is one of its charms.

There are echoes of the absurd and the playful of two earlier (and better) movies, the incredibly inventive "Being John Malkovich" and the cinematically engrossing "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Both of those are written by the astonishing Charlie Kaufman. Here the writer Sophie Barthes is working almost solo since she is also directing, and if it's solid it's also short of its potential, which unfortunately is so obvious. It's a great idea. And a rather good movie.


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