Civilization and its discontents. Paul, an actor preparing for Uncle Vanya on Broadway, is mired in ennui. His agent tells him about an office where he can put his soul in storage. He does so then discovers that being soulless helps neither his acting nor his marriage; he returns to the office and rents, for two weeks, the soul of a Russian poet. His acting improves, but his wife finds him different, he sees bits of the borrowed soul’s life, and he’s now deep in sorrow. He wants his own soul back, but there are complications: it’s in St. Petersburg. With the help of Nina, a Russian who transports souls to the U.S., he determines to get it back. Who has he become? —IMDb
Born in France, Sophie Barthes grew up in the Middle East and South America. A Columbia University graduate, Sophie co-directed the short film Snowblink with cinematographer Andrij Parekh and a Unicef documentary in Yemen on women literacy programs. Both Happiness and Cold Souls, her feature-length screenplay, won the NYSCA Individual Artists Grants and the Showtime Tony Cox Award for Best Screenplay at the Nantucket Film Festival. Sophie completed her residency at the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony and the January ‘07 Sundance Screenwriters Lab. She just completed the June ‘07 Sundance Directors Lab with Cold Souls, to be produced by Touchy Feely Films and Journeyman Pictures. —Lunafest
A decent concept that didn't seem thought through. Paul Giamatti did what he could with the material and his soul-less acting of Uncle Vanya is the highlight. I didn't care for the female lead, she was a cipher, and a boring one at that. Plus the cinematographer drove me crazy. The supposedly artful lack of focus woven throughout did nothing but make me want to visit an optometrist. Sundance-y in the negative.
If anyone merits the “big head” poster treatment so expertly parodied by Funny or Die it would be everybody’s favorite movie star George Clooney
A new issue of Bright Lights Film Journal slipped online over the weekend