The whole world is watching--literally--every time Truman Burbank makes the slightest move. Unbeknownst to him, in this hauntingly funny film by Peter Weir, his entire life has been an unending soap opera for consumption b... more »y the rest of the world. And everyone he knows--including his mother, his wife, and his best friend--is really an actor, paid to be part of his life. In this intriguing and surprisingly touching 1998 film, writer Andrew Niccol imagines an ultimate kind of celebrity, then sees it brought to life with comic intensity and emotional honesty by Jim Carrey in what may be the performance of his career. Carrey has exceptional support from Laura Linney and Ed Harris, but it's his show, in a portrayal that demonstrates just what kind of range Carrey is capable of. --Marshall Fine« less
Melanie A W. (novelwriter) from NEWINGTON, CT Reviewed on 12/9/2007...
This is a great movie. I absolutely love the idea of life being a tv show.
A.L.V. | from your friendly neighborhood 500 | 01/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never been a huge fan of Jim Carrey movies, so when The Truman Show came out, I quickly wrote it off as not one I was going to rush out to see. I shouldn't have. Fortunately, I got the chance to see it at a friend's house, and I can honestly say that it left me speechless and amazed at the brilliance of the film. First of all, Jim Carrey excells in this role. I find him to be a very funny man in real life, but his wacky roles in previous movies (Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber...you know them) don't appeal to me at all. BUT, in this role, he shows that he is way more than a go-to weirdo or funnyman. The emotion and the vulnerability he brings to the naive Truman Burbank only improves as the movie goes on. Watching this man crack as the only world he knows begins to slowly betray him and the intensity of his attempts to discover what else is beyond his hidden cage is moving in a way that few movies can convey successfully. This movie is more than just about watching Truman Burbank find out the truth of his televised life, but it is a stunning portrayal of humanity. Truman's world was created by Christof (the always wonderful Ed Harris) to be what is considered "perfection." Christof is like God in the Seahaven world. He makes every choice for the world, including the weather and even Truman's fears...but Christof cannot change the one thing that noone can manipulate--Truman's thoughts. Truman is given the perfect wife, a brotherly bestfriend, a steady job, and a life in a world that exists without pain, sadness, or evil. But the world is a cage. The movie shows that stability is not perfection, ignorance is not bliss, and a life without ALL emotions--including sadness, fear, and pain--could never exist. Even without knowing that he is trapped, Truman feels the need to escape his "perfect" life and to see what else there is beyond the utopia that is Seahaven Island. It is a perfect display of our quest for the unknown, unsatisfaction with just mundane existence, and our interest in what normality really is. When you watch this movie, you will become just like the viewers in the movie who are watching Truman. You will root for him, cry for him, and laugh with (or at) him. His is truly a reality show that I hope that never is created for real...but we ARE humans, so who knows how we'll try to play God next...P.S. The score to the movie is absolutely gorgeous."
Terrific upgraded DVD with extras for classic film
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 08/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before the absurd reality shows took the airwaves by storm, director Peter Weir and writer Andrew Niccol imagined the world of Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey). Adopted and placed in a soundstage build to resemble a small American town Seahaven, Truman discovers that his life is nothing more than a TV show full of product placement. Truman discovers his friends, family and the world he lives in is nothing more than a construct. The first clue occurs when a flood light used to illuminate the massive soundstage where Truman lives falls into the middle of the street. When Truman wants to leave the small town he lives in and go to Fiji the TV show that is when his life begins to fall apart. Although Weir didn't write the film it deals with a subject common to his films; an individual who literally is an outsider in his own world. It's also about deception. Truman like most of Weir's protagonist discovers a web of deceit that corrupts his own world.
A brilliant film that finds Weir ("Witness", "The Year of Living Dangerously", "Picnic At Hanging Rock") in top form, it's amazing that this Oscar nominated film didn't pick up Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Writer and Best Director it was that good. Instead, the Academy rewarded "The Truman Show" like it does any film made by a Hollywood outsider-with a few awards recognizing the brilliance of the film and then settling into sublime mediocrity for the rest of the awards. There are clever visual references to Patrick MacGoohan's "The Prisoner" TV series woven into the visual motif of the film.
Featuring a stunning anamorphic transfer, "The Truman Show" looks nearly perfect. Paramount has done a terrific job with this new edition. Colors are vibrant and bright and the image quality is amazingly sharp and crystal clear. The 5.1 sound mix makes nice use of the format with imaging placed around the speakers.
We get a two part documentary that can either be played separately or as one. Weir, Carrey, Lara Linney and Noah Emmerich appear in interviews in the documentary. Curiously, the only person missing is writer Andrew Niccol. I'm not sure why Niccol doesn't appear in the film (perhaps he wasn't happy with some of the changes that Weir did but they work brilliantly). The fact that it closely resembles elements from Philip K. Dick's "Time Out of Joint" is also not addressed as well. The two part documentary runs about 40 minutes. The first part of the documentary focuses on the genesis of the film and some of the changes that occurred before the film was shot. The second part of the film focuses on pre-production through critical reception. This includes information on the wealthy beach community Seaside, Florida that DIDN'T want them to shoot there.
We also get four deleted/extended scenes that provide additional information and background on the story. While they aren't essential, they are pretty fascinating to watch. There's also original theatrical trailers, TV spots and previews for other Paramount releases.
A terrific film that was overlooked at Oscar time for far lesser films, "The Truman Show" catches Weir and his collaborators in top form. It's ironic that 10 years later the "reality show" world that was predicted came true (although not on this scale). The transfer looks terrific and the extras are certainly superior to the previous release on DVD. Definitely worth purchasing if you are a fan of Weir's work or just this movie!"
Best Film of 1998-Forget Shakespeare in Love!
Sam Bethune | Lincoln, Nebraska USA | 12/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nobody will ever accuse the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of having common sense or good taste. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why this film was beat out by "Shakespeare in Love", and why Jim Carey, who turned in the best performance of his career in "The Truman Show", wasn't even nominated for best actor.The plot of this movie is simple enough-Jim Carey plays a young man whose entire life has been entertainment for the rest of the world. He dares to reach beyond the giant bubble which is his universe to see what's out there, only to be foiled. Of particular note is the scene toward the end of the film where Truman reaches the end of the dome shaped studio and is told by Christoph (Ed Harris) about his world. This stands out as one of the most magical scenes in an extraordinary motion picture.I realize that this movie isn't for everyone (my wife, for one, didn't particularly like it), but Carey's performance alone justifies the purchase of this video. He displays a vulnerability and childlike fascination that is unlike anything I've ever seen. A very good supporting cast includes the shamefully overlooked Ed Harris, as well as Laura Linney."The Truman Show" is one of the most brilliant and overlooked motion pictures ever made. The ersatz "Ed TV", which followed a similar plot, doesn't begin to approach the craftsmanship of "The Truman Show". Hopefully, the Academy will make up for their slight of Jim Carey with "Man on the Moon, which appears to be his second acting tour de force."
What if they made a movie of my life...?
R. Gawlitta | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA | 10/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Truman Show" is a film I often come back to, occasionally, because its premise is so unique and compelling. Certainly, it's a parable and a fantasy; Peter Weir has quite simply added another brilliant film to his awesome filmography. Jim Carrey was expected to be insanely funny because everyone thought he was nuts to begin with. As a previous reviewer said, that's what we expected from Robin Williams, too, and Adam Sandler ("Punch-Drunk Love"). Carrey's performance is so very complete, a wonderful display of sensitivity and focus. I was impressed. Mr. Weir's vision I'm sure had a lot to do with it all, and Laura Linney's performance was much under-rated. Ed Harris was customarily over-reactive. This is a fantasy to be enjoyed and not analyzed at first glance; let it take you in, and question your own mortality. This is a film about self-esteem. For that reason alone, Jim Carrey flies beyond his reputation."
Take me to Fiji
M. Miller | TN | 01/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For me, to really like a movie, a book, or anything like that I have to relate to a character and his experiences. Well, I perfectly related to Truman, even though I do not live my life on a television show. Do I? Anyway, Truman Burbank could be any of us. He's just the average Joe on the street, but he feels mysteriously isolated, so he goes off, on what could be considered a mid-life crisis, and searches for the truth of his existence. I mean, if we can't relate to isolation and curiosity about existence then maybe we could related his daily goings, or we could go out more. I know that Truman's world is made up of cameras and lights, unbeknownst to Truman, but even though he is living on a man made TV set, his life is just that common journey of trying to find out who we really are on the inside. Like I said, I completely related, I'm on my own personal soul search, and due to that connection I loved it. Oh and did I mention that it just really is a great movie."