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Cold Souls (2009)Cold Souls (2009)

Paul Giamatti stars as Paul Giamatti in this clever comedy about an actor who can't master his part because at age forty-seven he's afflicted with a severe case of what Woody Allen once called heavyocity. He sees an article in the New Yorker about "soul extraction" and decides to unburden himself of his somber self. It works, in a way, and he subsequently feels light, hollow and slightly bored. But going soulless has serious side effects, and before too long he wants his soul back. That's easier said than done, so in the interim he rents a soul, but that only makes him long for his singular self even more. Things get really wacky when Giamatti discovers that his soul has been lost on the sinister and underground Russian market of soul transplantation. But what can a person give in exchange for his soul? What does one do if you gain the whole world but lose your soul? You don't need to draw deep philosophic conclusions about ensouled bodies to enjoy this film, but serious questions about human identity lurk just below the surface of these hilarious hijinks.

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