I had seen the last 3/4ths of this film years ago but that was pretty on-and-off. This time was the first time that I had grasped just how well this film was made as well as the first time I had seen the whole thing.
Acting/characters: This is definitely the best thing I have ever seen Jim Carrey do. I do admit that I can see why people would be upset that he wasn't nominated for his role in this. Do I agree with those angry mobs that he should have won? Nope. Yes he did an excellent job, but Tom Hanks and Roberto Begnini were better. Ed Harris did a good job but I am surprised he got a nomination for an Oscar considering that he had very little screen-time at all and he didn't do that much for a lot of it. He kinda just stood there and barked out orders. He didn't do a bad job don't get me wrong, but it wasn't an Oscar nom worthy performance. Carrey stole the show though (nyeh nyeh nyeh) and as such the film was really good. He gave it everything and you can definitely tell. 9/10
Plot: This one is definitely social commentary. It is a satire on how the population at large demands to know all of the private doings of celebrities who for the most part, just want to try to live ordinary lives much like Truman here. yes you do have those people who are in tabloid magazines so much that it seems like they are trying to get in but i digress...It was a highly entertaining film with a great range of emotions too. It could be funny, it could be uplifting, it could be sad, it could be heartwarming, and it juggled all of them so well. I was thoroughly entertained throughout. it was very well done. 9/10
Screenplay: I imagine that most of the lines that are a bit flimsier than the other ones can be attributed to the world of the show itself. Does that make sense? Any lines within the confines of the show that we may see as questionably good can be attributed not to the actors in the film but to the actors in the TV show. I hope I'm getting my point across here. Aside from the script in the world of the TV show itself, I enjoyed the script from the world outside of the show. They were two totally different worlds and I think the great script did a good job with making the differences apparent. It wasn't flawless but it was pretty darn good. 9/10
Likableness: This is one that I had wanted to see for a long time but I had never gotten around to seeing the whole thing. I am glad that I have now. it was a highly entertaining, brilliantly acted, original movie that I have no problem suggesting to anyone. It may go down in film history as a classic. The social commentary is definitely as applicable now as it was 13 years ago when this film was made. I think it will continue to age very well. The film isn't perfect but it was really good. Definitely deserved to take Shakespeare In Love's spot for Best Picture nominations for 1998. 9.5/10
Final Score: 36.5/40
Tomatometer rating: 95%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 95%
TRIVIA TIME: 1. Dennis Hopper was originally cast as Christof, but walked off the set after his first day. Ed Harris replaced him and went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
2. People on the set were forbidden from uttering phrases from Jim Carrey's past "silly" movies.
3. David Cronenberg turned down directing duties. Sam Raimi was also considered to direct and had met with Jim Carrey.
4. Just before the boat stops, we see the number "139" prominently displayed on its sail. The ensuing dialogue between Truman and Christof contains some paraphrased references to Psalm 139, as do many other aspects of the film.
5. The Trumania bit, where Jim Carrey draws on the mirror with soap and acts strange, was completely improvised by Carrey. In another take he drew long curly hair and a dress.
6. Every street name in Seahaven refers to a movie actor, e.g. "Lancaster Square" or "Barrymore Road." All of the "cast" members are likewise named after movies stars - Meryl, Marlon, Lauren, Kirk, Angela, etc.