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Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: More than two decades after catapulting to stardom with The Princess Bride, an aging actress (Robin Wright, playing a version of herself) decides to take her final job: preserving her digital likeness for a future Hollywood. Through a deal brokered by her loyal, longtime agent (Harvey Keitel) and the head of Miramount Studios (Danny Huston), her alias will be controlled by the studio, and will star in any film they want with no restrictions. In return, she receives healthy compensation so she can care for her ailing son and her digitized character will stay forever young. Twenty years later, under the creative vision of the studio’s head animator (Jon Hamm), Wright’s digital double rises to immortal stardom. With her contract expiring, she is invited to take part in “The Congress” convention as she makes her comeback straight into the world of future fantasy cinema. [Drafthouse Films] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 22, 2013
    100
    A wholly original and thoroughly surprising fusion of sensory overload and liberal philosophy bound to confuse and provoke in equal measures.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 5, 2014
    83
    The film has a transcendent spookiness.
  3. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Sep 3, 2014
    80
    This potent emotional undercurrent goes a long way toward counteracting the movie’s clumsier moments, carrying us aloft to a finale that, in its strange mix of trepidation and tenderness, is truly sublime.
  4. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Sep 4, 2014
    63
    Lem’s story is merely a springboard for Folman’s wildly sprawling meditations on what the advent of virtual performance means — for artistic integrity, creative spirit, celebrity culture, human identity, even our hold on reality.
  5. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Aug 11, 2014
    60
    A fascinating and visually impressive intellectual helter-skelter ride, but the lack of narrative coherence lets down its promising sci-fi concepts and satire.
  6. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    May 22, 2013
    60
    The Congress contains tricks aplenty and ideas in abundance. The problem comes in herding these scattered, floating elements towards a satisfying whole.
  7. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Aug 28, 2014
    37
    The film is ambitious and heartfelt, with pressing concerns about the virtualization and fantasization of reality. But it’s a blunder, one interesting mostly for what it might have been.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 6, 2014
    10
    Imagine a world where experience could be inhaled like a pharmaceutical. There would be no need for movies, because the direct experience of another life is always available - we wouldn't have to see it, we would be it. In this reality, personal identity would cease to be something stable and defined; your identity could shift from moment to moment as you live unlimited possible experiences. The real world already has trouble competing with fantasy, but with this pharmaceutical, fantasy would become the reality, and how many people would truly accept their normal life if an unlimited number of experiences and adventures was always instantly available? This is the question the movie asks, and the future it terrifyingly predicts. "I am your prophet of doom" says the Robin Wright character, as she describes this future. In this way, it shares similar conceits with The Matrix, another movie built on the fact that reality is entirely a creation of the mind. But unlike The Matrix, The Congress posits that most people would happily embrace a fantastic false reality over our default one. Expand
  2. Sep 9, 2014
    9
    Basically a 2 part act with the first one introducing the main characters and the second one showing weird interpretations of them through a purple haze. In the first act you get wonderful character building and one great monologue that would make even the most stubborn individual break down and cry. The second act brings you the mystery as you try to figure out what is really going on in the real world while we are stuck in an insane animated sequence that is as fascinating as it is strange.

    The pacing in this movie is awkward at best. The second act does seem to drag. It is also apparent that other than the great animation that there was not much left in the budget for practical effects. These shortcomings though do nothing to diminish the quality of this film. This is just so rare to get a sci-fi film that is original and unconventional these days that it is refreshing like a glass of crystal clear water in a summer afternoon. If you have the chance to see this on a larger screen then please take advantage of that before it goes away. The larger than life aspect does seem to take advantage of it. This movie has a 'Total Recall' aspect to it that will keep your friends discussing this after the movie is over.
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  3. Oct 17, 2014
    6
    Israeli director Ari Folman’s fourth film, THE CONGRESS is the much anticipated follow-up after his Oscar-nominated animation-documentary WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2008), which to my ruefulness I have yet to watch, since I am eternally lagging in the field of documentaries, let alone a war documentary.

    THE CONGRESS has an intrinsically distinctive allure of its own because it is a film creatively amalgamate live-action with animation, and inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s Sci-Fi novel THE FUTUROLOGICAL CONGRESS, it ambitiously challenges to handle a thornier theme of human race’s incorrigible addiction to chemicals which ultimately erase all one egos than it appears to suggest, a showbiz industry agism satire and the advance of technology which foreshadows the doom of the line of actor (which both FINALE FANTSY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN 2001, and the film itself can justify at least for now, animation cannot replace real actors, live-capture may be a more probable contrivance).

    continue reading my review on my blog: google cinema omnivore, thanks
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  4. Sep 27, 2014
    5
    It just didn't work.

    Stanisław Lem, like Philip K. Dick and Theodore Sturgeon, is tough to get right. This film's portrayal of drugged
    Utopian fantasy seemed too silly and simply did not fit with the rest of the movie's tone.

    Robin Wright was solid throughout but once the movie arrives at The Congress there just wasn't much she could do to help.
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