Actresses of a certain age will take any number of drastic measures to stop the march of time, but few are probably brave enough to undergo the extreme procedure Robin Wright volunteers for in The Congress.
In Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman’s half-animated Hollywood sci-fi drama, Wright plays a (much less successful) version of herself in which the unhappily unemployed, middle-aged actress chooses to become an animated simulacrum of herself that can be exploited in any number ways. The studio thus gains a compliant star and “Robin” wins new gigs and contracts — a situation that raises intriguing questions about the nature of stardom and celebrity.
Wright’s character isn’t motivated by sheer vanity, though. Her young son is going blind, and the only way to save his sight — by freezing time — is to cartoonize herself. The trailer isn’t helpful on how that detail works out, but it does suggest — no surprise — that the animated world the protagonist enters is much more bewildering and dystopian than she anticipated.
Wright’s co-stars include Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm, and Paul Giamatti.
The Congress opens August 29.