Cold Souls Reviews
The pedantic borrowings from Kaufman are obvious. Is there any other "-esque" to be detected? There's Allen-esque, but that comes with the Kaufman-esque territory. Maybe Huxley-esque? The anxiety of influence hangs heavily here.
The low-key satire would have benefited from more of a back story to Giamatti's character and a clearer sense of his relationship with his wife. But what we do get is compelling in the way of an indelible, dreamy short story.
These pitch-perfect moments, as well as Giamatti's performance as an artist driven to a personal and creative brink, make Cold Souls, if not always coherent, at least compelling.
Giamatti stammers and futzes and self-loathes with the best of 'em, and his endearing persona and droopy-dog face can move the film along even when the narrative can't.
[Director] Barthes takes her notion and runs with it, and Giamatti and Strathairn follow fearlessly. The movie is rather evocative about the way we govern ourselves from the inside out.
Giamatti the character rediscovers his sensitivity, and Giamatti the actor proves he's up for anything. Barthes, directing her first feature, proves she's up for whatever comes next.