Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Truman Show

I don't think I've seen The Truman Show again since it first came out in 1998; certainly only the basic story had stuck with me, and the fact that it was an excellent movie. I hadn't realised that not only was the director an Australian, (Peter Weir) but the scriptwriter (who wanted to direct it, but was regarded as too inexperienced for the size of the budget) was a New Zealander, Andrew Niccol (pictured at left). And our old friend, Philip Glass, he of the tendency to compose music that appears to go nowhere, composed some of the music. In fact, I hadn't realised just how prolific a film composer Glass is. imdb.com lists some 90 productions he's worked on. That's much more the Erich Korngold, who's much better known as a film composer, or Bernard Herrmann (who composed for several Hitchcock movies), who wrote for less than half the movies Glass has listed.

The Truman Show is a satire on TV, but on its own that wouldn't be enough to have given it its class. Its deeper story is the struggle for a man to find his way out of the prison that's been made around him, to reach for the stars (even though in his case they're only fakes). Carrey gives a great performance in this movie, eschewing the over-the-top comedy that makes some of his other movies so successful (and makes others less than successful), and he's surrounded by a top-notch cast, many of whom have to perform as actors performing as other people throughout. Ed Harris is wonderful as the 'Creator' (a man who's got to the point of thinking he's virtually God); unfortunately this particular Creator has a streak of the devil in him.

Well worth seeing again.
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