The Truman Show (1998) / Drama-Comedy
MPAA Rated: PG for thematic elements and mild language
Running Time: 103 min.
Cast: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone
Director: Peter Weir
Screenplay: Andrew Niccol
Review published December 5, 1999
Truman Burbank (Carrey, Liar Liar) lives in an idyllic town, with a loving wife, good job and neighbors that love him. Yet, he feels that there must be more than just the life in his small town, and he wants desperately to travel and see the world. The problem is that the town he lives in is in reality a fictitious creation, designed solely to make him think it is real because Truman Burbank is, in fact, the unknowing star of a TV show which follows his every move. After a few mishaps our hero begins to suspect something's fishy as he begins to get a peek at the facade he is living in.
The Truman Show is certainly Carrey's best film to date, and quite an impressive dramatic debut for the comedian. It's also more amazing stuff from Gattaca screenwriter Andrew Niccol, and the first film in over five years by fellow New Zealander Peter Weir (The Mosquito Coast, Witness).
The underlying themes run pretty deep. Some may see the film as an indictment of the state of entertainment, with a show made by people who will do anything for a buck. Others will see it in terms of the biblical idea of the Creation, with Truman living in a Garden of Eden masterminded by the Creator, producer Christ-of. Regardless, it is a fascinating film, which has the chance of becoming a true classic and taking Carrey to another level in his career, a la Robin Williams.
Keep your eye on screenwriter Niccol...two winners in a row right out of the box, I can't wait to see what he'll write when he becomes an experienced pro!
©1998 Vince Leo