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The Truman Show (1998)

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10/10: It's Live! It's Live
Saturday, May 28, 2011

With "The Truman Show", released in 1998, Peter Weir delivers a brilliant satire about the excesses of reality shows, with a prophetic relevance disguised under a misleading comedic mask. This underrated gem of the 90's, tells the original, to say the least, story of Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey in a breakthrough dramatic performance with this bit of tender wackiness we expect from him. Truman is an ordinary insurance salesman living in the small peaceful town of Seahaven. He's popular and lives in harmony with his wife, his mother, his best friend, his colleagues and neighbors. In appearance only What Truman doesn't know, and here's the visionary originality on which relies his life, is that Seahaven, is in fact a huge studio with 5,000 cameras always keeping an eye on him and that everyone's an actor, including his wife, his mother, his best friend etc. and last but not least, all his life...

10/10: Life is Starting to Imitate Satire
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Life is starting to imitate satire. "The Truman Show" was only made seven years ago, but it predates the current mania for so-called "reality" television shows such as "Big Brother". The idea behind such shows is that they present the viewer with a slice of actual reality- real people in real situations with real emotions- rather than the simulated reality of drama or the edited reality of documentaries. The flaw in this idea is that nothing is more unreal than a reality show. The presence of the cameras has a distorting effect, inducing artificial behaviour patterns in those who appear in front of it, and the sort of people who star in such programmes are almost invariably eccentric exhibitionists. "The Truman Show" takes the central concept of reality TV shows one stage further in order to overcome this flaw: what would happen if we made a reality programme about a person who has absolutely no idea that he is...

10/10: Great combination of social satire and philosophical allegory
Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Truman Show may be approached on one level as social satire exposing the emptiness of an American Dream defined by consumerism and purveyed by the electronic media over the last half century. Life in "Seahaven," the vast dome-enclosed set/community in which Truman (Jim Carrey) has been raised under the watchful eyes of a worldwide TV audience of millions, is a sharp and elaborate parody of the corporate sponsored images of middle-class American material bliss and innocence first introduced to mass television audiences through such '50s sitcoms as Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, and The Donna Reed Show. A closely related target of The Truman Show's satire is the pervasive voyeurism and passivity that has increasingly characterized American social behavior as witnessed in film (ED TV), entertainment television (tell-all talk shows, Reality TV, the talent search genre), and even broadcast news (disaster/victim footage).Yet, on another level, The Truman Show, like Gattaca, The...

10/10: Finally a movie that makes us think
Monday, February 1, 1999

When I was a young adult on the search for my true self, religion and God; I found myself reading all kinds of books such as: Demian, Sidarta, Brave New World, 1984, the works of Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Bolvoir. The world of Truman Burbank certainly took me back to those days. I used to look at myself in the mirror and say out loud: "I wonder if I am me? I wonder if everybody thinks the same shade of red when I say red? Why was I born? Why are my parents my parents? Why did God create the world? Will I get punished by God for thinking all these things?" This is a deep movie, bound to become an art film. Jim Carey did such a superb job that it earned him a Golden Globe Award. This is definitely an Oscar contender. It made me think! What a suprise! Movies do not make me think very...

10/10: Genius
Saturday, June 12, 1999

I asked a friend to describe The Truman Show. He said, "No, it's not a comedy, well...not exactly." I didn't quite understand until I watched it myself. Truman takes on a tone quite different than any parody/comedies I've seen lately. The point (the media and its destructive powers) is subtlely relayed through dark humor, and you don't feel like the director is smashing you over the head with his morals. Peter Weir demonstrated his artistic genius in Dead Poets Society and here as well. The soundtrack is great, Ed Harris is stellar (what were they THINKING at the Academy?) and for once I actually liked Jim Carrey. His performance wasn't ribald for once. The final scene--I will not reveal it--is a majestic, long-awaited finish to an intellectual movie. Some people will insist that it was boring or pointless. Those are the same viewers who prefer slapstick, obvious humor to the...

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