The Congress, film review: Animated characters aren't a patch on the real thing

(15) Ari Folman, 123 mins Starring: Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel
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The Independent Culture

If only Ari Folman's film had stayed in live-action mode, we might have been greeting it as one of the great modern satires about Hollywood.

It boasts a magnificent cameo from Danny Huston as a sleazy Hollywood executive, an almost equally fine performance from Harvey Keitel as an agent and a touching one from Robin Wright (playing a version of herself) as a star whose career has fallen off a cliff. The writing is as barbed and as funny as that in F Scott Fitzgerald's Pat Hobby stories.

Alas, 30 minutes in Folman whisks us away to Toon Land, where the scanned and animated versions of the characters turn out to be very pale imitations of their flesh and blood equivalents.

The one encouraging aspect of the film is that it shows that CGI-generated simulacra of actors still aren't a patch on the real thing.