Paul Giamatti plays himself in a dark indie comedy that's distinguished by a sci-fi theme and surrealistic touches but ends without a payoff. Preparing for the lead in Uncle Vanya, Giamatti has a bad case of the jitters, but a news article leads him to a laboratory where patrons can relieve their angst by having their souls clinically extracted. The lab's slick director (David Strathairn) puts Giamatti's soul on ice, but when the restless actor wants it back, he learns that the firm's Russian mule (Dina Korzun) has smuggled it to an aspiring St. Petersburg actress, who mistakenly believes she’s getting the artistic mojo of a Hollywood giant. Writer-director Sophie Barthes based this project on a dream she had about Woody Allen, a devoted Russophile; by contrast, Giamatti is too flinty to sell the idea that his character and the Russian woman are soul mates. PG-13, 101 min.
Director: Sophie Barthes
Writer: Sophie Barthes
Producer: Daniel Carey
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Emily Watson, Dina Korzun, David Strathairn, Lauren Ambrose, Katheryn Winnick, Boris Kievsky, Oksana Lada, Natalia Zvereva and Rebecca Brooksher