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Trailer Watch: Robin Wright Animates Herself in The Congress

Trailer Watch: Robin Wright Animates Herself in The Congress

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. 

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The original European trailers did a much better job at explaining the plot (or rather, at least not confusing its own plot points), plus this new US trailer hardly features animation, which dominates the last 2/3 of the film. To be clear, Robin Wright allows her studio to scan and animate her for future movies, and will pay her a large sum of money to do so, which will allow her to care for her son whose health is deteriorating. The film skips 20 years into the future where she is invited to renew her contract at the "animation zone," whose existent is so floppily explained you can tell it's just so Ari Folman can do rotoscoping again. After accidentally starting off a revolution where people live inside their own animated hallucinations, that's when she decides to look for her son. And honestly, Robin's relationship with her son was a huge fault in the film, because it leans so heavily on that relationship as her main motive, but it's never really explored beyond the fact that he's disabled and she's being a good mom.


Fitting that there is already a movie exploring the scanning/digital cloning of actors (it's real, btw; google digital cloning from the New Yorker, written by Margaret Talbot). It looks interesting, unfortunate that Robin Wright seems to be the only female character in the story.

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