So, anyone care to place bets on the first network to
actually do this?

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank

Ed Harris as Christof

Music by Philip Glass

Written by Andrew Niccol

Directed by Peter Wier

Complete cast and crew info at The
Internet
Movie Database
.

Premise

Truman Burbank’s entire life is a reality show, and he’s the
only one
who doesn’t know it.

When this was first released in 1998, it was considered
sci-fi by a
lot of people for the same reasons The Running
Man
was; at
some ambiguous point in the near future, society would
change, and
the film provides the social commentary. Well, the future
presented
here seems far more realistic now than it did five years
ago, before
Survivor, The Amazing Race, or
Big Brother.
At the time this was released, MTV’s The Real
World
was the
only “reality” show on television.

High Point

“That one’s for free.” A nice touch to let the viewers know
what’s
coming.

Low Point

Jim Carrey didn’t start out normal enough. The first
meeting with his
neighbours felt like Truman was performing, but he was just
supposed
to be living. Other things Carrey did, like kicking the radio
with
his right foot while driving, just aren’t the things that Truman
should have been doing at that stage of things. Going
over the top
later in the movie is expected, and it works then, but he
should have
started out at a much mellower stage.

The Scores

The originality of this film is hurt by the
existence of
EdTV, an extremely similarly themed movie
that had to have
been filmed simultaneously, given the similarity in release
dates. I
haven’t seen EdTV, but I understand that there
are some
significant differences in the details beyond the “a man’s
life is
broadcast on TV” concept. If not for EdTV, it
would feel
pretty original for a movie. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were effectively used most of the
time. The
camera fogging effects kept the right tone, and the
construction of
the world was plausible. My only quibble is in turning the
moon into
a spotlight, but that’s a script problem, not an effects
problem. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well written. The pieces add up,
with one
exception: I’m not convinced Truman could have gone to a
normal
elementary school. There are just too many kids there to
believe that
they’d all be able to keep the secret. Once you move past
that issue,
it works rather well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting from Jim Carrey only works for half
the movie, as
mentioned above. That’s just not good enough given the
importance of
his role. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was
excellent. Keep
this in mind: I hate reality shows. The ones on
the air
right now seem designed in such a way that the worst
elements of
humanity are the ones that get rewarded. The best
manipulators are
the ones that win these shows. Thus, the kind of
unintentional
malevolance inflicted on Truman seems pretty plausible to
me. This is
where reality shows could very easily go. I really, really
wanted to
see Truman realize the reality he’s been trapped in, and
manage to
escape. After Jim Carrey’s intial stumbling, it worked
extremely
well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was excellent. The camera
work produced
exactly the right feel, the natural lighting fit in with the
nature of
the environments, and the Philip Glass score worked
perfectly. Peter
Weir made an excellent movie. Heck, he made a Jim
Carrey movie I’m
willing to watch, and watch more than once; this is a rare
achievement
in itself. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this movie is strongly recommended
to those who are
sick of reality TV and just want it to go away. I give it 5 out
of 6.

In total, The Truman Show receives 33 out of
42.