The Congress

The Congress, stars Robin Wright as an ageing actress called Robin Wright. Facing rapidly diminishing stardom, she’s made an offer by the decidedly nefarious Miramount Studios (Mira- / – mount, geddit?), who want to scan her into their computers and take ownership of her image for an astronomical fee. With an eye on the needs of her sick son, she ultimately accepts this devil’s contract, and essentially becomes a non-person for the next two decades. So far so good. Twenty years later, Digital Robin is now a megastar sci-fi action heroine, while Real Robin is an elderly woman attending a congress in the studio’s alternate reality digital world of Abrahama. This is when things go really cuckoo and the action morphs into the most bizarre animated world since The Yellow Submarine….

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You know, I can’t really explain it, at least not in a few words. Speechless: you know that doesn’t happen to me often. Rather, here’s the synopsis from the film’s own site, so you sort it out. Honestly? I almost gave up on it a few times during the 2 hour run. Robin Wright (live action version) is just lovely – lovely – her choices are heartfelt and the initial set-up is creepy but fascinating. The animation parts, when you get to them, are harder to swallow, or at least harder to stick with. I found they lost me a bit, emotionally. The movie is also jam packed with ideas – the blistering critique of Hollywood and fame being the most gleeful – but many of the concepts aren’t fully explored or even properly sketched. So it’s a frustrating watch, on the whole. In spite of that though, I truly felt I was viewing something extraordinary, an innovative and inventive voice, and a totally unique cinematic experience the likes of which you just don’t often come across these days. So I’d say definitely watch it. Just don’t necessarily expect to understand it.