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États-Unis, 2002
De Andrew Niccol
Scénario : Andrew Niccol
Avec : Catherine Keener, Al Pacino, Winona Ryder, Mathieu Simonet
Durée : 1h55
Sortie : 01/01/2002
Note FilmDeCulte : *****-
  • S1m0ne
  • S1m0ne
  • S1m0ne

Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Grace Kelly, Veronica Lake, Grace Kelly, Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe all in the same movie. Even better, all in the same woman, a screen goddess that sets the industry alight and knocks the audience out of its socks with her breakthrough performance. Her name is Simone.

In his second directorial feature, the talented Andrew Niccol invites us to follow the astounding career of this shooting star and, through her, the story of her mentor, her creator, Victor Taransky (a wonderful Al Pacino whose character is reminiscent of The Truman Show’s Christoph). A quickly-fading producer, Taransky discovers he can create a perfect digital replica of an actress and thus breathes life into Simone, perfection incarnate, the one actress who in return will breathe life back into his career.

Once more, Niccol focuses on man’s relation to images and their power on us, as well as on the themes of perfection and illusion. After Gattaca’s Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a genetically-perfect man, here comes Simone. Niccol explores even further the themes he’d put into his script for Peter Weir’s Truman Show. The echoes between the two movies are numerous: the first is the spectacle of an ordinary life, the second one the life of a superstar. And both attract the same morbid fascination from audiences. In these entertainment experimentations, who manipulates who ? Was Christoph pulling Truman’s strings or was it really the opposite ? In Simone, Taransky gets overwhelmed by the success his own creation encounters.

The tone of the movie is somewhat lighter than were Gattaca and The Truman Show. Niccol, with his discreet directing and sharp, precise writing, gives us a couple of memorable laughs. The satire of the Hollywood movie industry is extremely well put together.

Let’s not forget to mention the movie’s star, the film’s gem: delicate, ethereal, yet anchored and deeply rooted in her emotions, here comes Simone. Hollywood, brace yourself.

par Nicolas Bardot

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