Country: Israel / others
Movie Review: Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman (“Waltz with Bashir”) blends drama, sci-fi, and animation in “The Congress”, an adaptation of the novel ‘The Futurological Congress’ by Stanislaw Lem (“Solaris”). In this story of dual worlds, Robin Wright plays herself as an aging actress who deals with several difficulties in her professional career but still believes in her performing capacities. She is reluctant to accept being part of a new technological program set up by Miramount Studios, represented by the ambitious Jeff Green (Danny Huston), that offers her the last performance of her life - a digitally scanning to obtain her image rights for a computer-character. Dedicated to her son Aaron, who needs medical attention, Robin will be convinced by Al (Harvey Keitel), her agent and the father of her children, to embark in the program. Twenty years later she was turned into the star of a widespread TV show called ‘Rebel Robot Robin – Street Fighter, and decides to enter in the animated world of showbiz created by Miramount. But inhabiting an artificial world of dreams and wanna-be’s, doesn’t bring the peace she needs since her main concern is not knowing about her son, left to the cares of his specialist, Dr. Barker (Paul Giamatti). Conceptually challenging and gorgeously designed, “The Congress” is both a complex and sophisticated creation that worked out much better than “The Zero Theorem” or the lame “Transcendence”. Michal Englert’s cinematography was significant, while the Israel-based production company Bridgit Folman Films Gang was responsible for the animation. Concerning the great cast, definitely no computer-characters are needed for them.