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Paul Giamatti stars as himself, an actor in the throes of anxiety over an upcoming performance -- until he gives his soul to a mysterious company that promises to freeze and store it until he wants it again, along with his anxieties. But when his soul goes missing, Giamatti embarks on a journey to track it down. Along the way he learns a thing or two about engaging every human emotion, however difficult.
The film takes place in an alternate universe where science has come up with a way to remove one's soul if it is weighing them down and replace it temporarily with someone else's instead. Paul Giamatti is fantastic here but I don't remember ever seeing him give a bad performance. He plays himself here, an actor whose life is full of anxiety so he decides to have his soul removed but after doing so he also loses his ability to act so he decides to go get his soul back but things get hairy and getting it back is going to be a lot harder than he expected. I can go on about the story but I really think this is one of those movies that the less you know going into it the better. Cold Souls is compared to "Being John Malkovich" and in many ways it does resemble it but it also brings it's own ideas and twists to the table as well. This is the directorial debut of Sophie Barthes and I thought she did a fantastic job using the cinematography to help set the mood needed for a film like this,a very impressive first film. This is not going to be for everyone but if you like this sort of drama mixed with dark humor then I suggest giving it a chance. If nothing else this is certainly original and thought provoking and it contains a message about humanity. I am no actor but I would guess it can be hard to play a certain character and even harder to play yourself in a film but Paul Giamatti takes the role and really does makes it his own, his comic timing is perfect and his dramatic performance is flawless as well. This is what Independent cinema is all about, making a film that engages the audience and gets them thinking, maybe not perfect but this is a gem either way and one I highly recommend to anyone that loves cinema or if your just looking for something different to watch then I would have to say you are going to find this to be more entertaining and interesting than many of the films you have seen in the past year. Cold Souls had me from it's opening frame and left me thinking about it long after it was over, this is certainly a film I will revisit before long since it offers so much food for thought it demands a second viewing. The DVD comes with Bonus Features that include:
Soul Extractor (Slide Show)
Nine Deleted Scenes
Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
**** Out Of *****