In a world where human souls are regularly extracted and exchanged, an actor (Paul Giamatti) receives the soul of a Russian poet to help him nail the lead role in ``Uncle Vanya.''
" [Director] Barthes takes her notion and runs with it, and Giamatti and Strathairn follow fearlessly. The movie is rather evocative about the way we govern ourselves from the inside out. "
" A clever existential comedy. "
" For all its quirks and laughs, there's something in this film you haven't seen in many others during this long summer. A soul. "
" For those who like comedies that derive humor through absurd situations and dialogue rather than through more lowbrow methods, this film is worth taking a chance on. "
" Giamatti is one of the few guys who could take a joke about a chickpea-sized soul and make a meal of it. "
" Giamatti stammers and futzes and self-loathes with the best of 'em, and his endearing persona and droopy-dog face can move the film along even when the narrative can't. "
" I found myself thinking about this movie for a long time after I got out of the theater. "
" Inspired by one of [director] Barthes' dreams, Cold Souls has the kind of twisted but clever self-awareness of Being John Malkovich. "
" It's comical, yes, but glum and brooding, too, a wintry waltz through acting, underground commerce and metaphysics. "
" Peppered with ingenious twists of imagination, Cold Souls walks a tightrope between intellectual slapstick and edgy social commentary. "
" The credible production design impresses, the camerawork offers an exquisite chill and Giamatti is in his pomp. "
" The movie turns what could have been a tedious meta-movie exercise into a sincere dour farce. "
" These are all very surreal, inventive ideas, heightened by the dreamlike cinematography from Barthes' partner, Andrij Parekh; the scenes shot in St. Petersburg, for example, are simultaneously gauzy and bleak. "
" These pitch-perfect moments, as well as Giamatti's performance as an artist driven to a personal and creative brink, make Cold Souls, if not always coherent, at least compelling. "
" A dark indie comedy that's distinguished by a sci-fi theme and surrealistic touches but ends without a payoff. "
" A terrific premise, but I'm not so sure about the execution. "
" It's a simple query, and a fun one to explore, yet only a temporarily compelling conflict for a feature-length film. "
" You wear a smile right through the surrealist spoof Cold Souls, but leave the theatre feeling somehow under-entertained. "
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