It had to happen: Soderbergh's gotten carried away with himself. Returning to the free-film terrain of Schizopolis, but with his circus of new star pals in tow, this grab bag of cinematic tricks and fancies shimmies through various dimensions of life on film: while spanning a day in the lives of a handful of inter-connected LA players, it simultaneously juggles different planes of reality and fiction, offering at one point a 'film within a film within the film', at another what would seem to be its own on-set 'making of' footage. Roberts sports at least three different haircuts, which along with the transitions from film to DV help demarcate the different levels of fiction, if not their precise bearing on one another. You also get Pierce, Keener (typically outstanding) and Underwood as various movie trade types; Katt raising the roof as Hitler in 'The Sound and the Fuhrer', an experimental stage folly; cameos from Pitt and a Harvey Weinstein lookalike; and Duchovny in self-mocking mode as Gus, the film's narrative black hole, a producer getting set to celebrate 40 (as recently did Soderbergh). The result might be the closest we've come to a Hollywood home movie. The kaleidoscopic perspective and the more grounded, 'realistic' scenes express a certain La-La land disorientation and disconnect, but it's also plain disjointed, and frustratingly self-absorbed.
Cast and crew
David Hyde Pierce