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PG-13 | August 24, 2002 | Jon Brophy

"Simone" is the story of a washed up director (Al Pacino) desperate to finish his new movie. After his star actress leaves the production, he conveniently acquires a computer program from a slightly eccentric inventor that allows him to create a new star from out of thin air. She becomes a huge star, the obsession of many. This leaves the director trapped. The more the people love her, the less he can reveal that she is his creation. The movie has its funny moments, but never really takes off.

The director, Viktor Taransky, once great, is now close to the end of his career. Only his daughter Lainey (Evan Rachel Wood) still sort of believes in him. His ex-wife Elaine (Catherine Keener), the head of his studio, has given up on his career and tells him to forget his new movie when his star (Winona Ryder), leaves the movie.

Then Viktor meets another very desperate man, Hank Aleno (Elias Koteas), who has devised a computer program that can create artificial actors and actresses. Viktor isn’t at all interested until later, when he finds that the software was left to him in Hank’s will. After some playing around on the computer, Simone is the result. She’s talented, beautiful, and cooperative. She needs no stunt doubles, has no problem with nudity, and can be any kind of actress Viktor wants her to be.

This movie was done by the same guy that did The Truman Show and Gattaca, also both science type movies. This movie, however, does not come close to those two. Al Pacino does a good job bringing the character of Viktor Taransky to life, but this movie suffers from predictability. There are many scenes with packs of reporters all acting the way you’d expect, with no wit or originality. This movie is basically about a director having unimaginable success fall into his hands. And in the end, Simone is still... Just Simone. No twists, nothing unexpected.


Viktor Taransky: Al Pacino
Elaine: Catherine Keener
Lainey Taransky: Evan Rachel Wood
Simone: Rachel Roberts
Hank Aleno: Elias Koteas
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol

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