Cold Souls

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Cold Souls
Feeling miserable? Work stressful? Soul removal is a quick and easy new medical procedure which lets you live the life you want. That, at least, is the pitch David Strathairn’s blithely persuasive doctor delivers to moody New York actor Paul Giamatti. The thesp’s spouse (Emily Watson) soon notices the change, yet reversing the process is complicated by illicit global trafficking, since second-hand Russian souls are cheap but used American models are worth a fortune. Yes, it all sounds rather Charlie Kaufmanesque, though first-time writer-director Sophie Barthes’s musings tend more to melancholy than neurosis. Her film is a slow-burn: witty and insightful, but lacking in thrust when it comes to sustaining its madcap, globetrotting plot. Still, the credible production design impresses, the camerawork offers an exquisite chill and Giamatti is in his pomp. He puts an amusingly human face on what it’s like to live without a soul – or indeed get by with a rental.

By: Trevor Johnston


Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Sophie Barthes
Screenwriter: Sophie Barthes
Cast: Emily Watson
Katheryn Winnick
Lauren Ambrose
Paul Giamatti
Dina Korzun
David Strathairn

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

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Agree with the review. Good film, nice idea, but lacks something to take it to the next level. As always Giamatti is very watchable and there are some genuinly funny moments. At the end though it's an obvious comment on how actors take on parts of their roles and are forever changed by them.