On Friday’s Movie Show, we touched a bit on overrated actors (but excellent entertainers): Actors who tend to play the same character iteration with various levels of intensity. I don’t know if Paul Giamatti is one of those actors– I think the argument could be made both ways– but I find the guy a total joy to watch. Whether he’s complaining about rocks in his boots in Saving Private Ryan, giving me a reason not to fall asleep while watching Lady In The Water or offering a subtle and fantastic performance as a torn investigator in the underviewed The Illusionist, Giamatti’s ability to imbue stinkers and winners alike with everyman charm, wit and vulnerability assures my ticket purchase to virtually any film he’s cast in (including the wretched Shoot ‘Em Up–sorry, Andy– and Big Momma’s House).
In Cold Souls, Giamatti, playing himself, literally loses his soul (as he seeks to perfect a character performance he’s been hired for) to a crappy soap opera via a soul-freezing company. Yeah– not quite a mainstream story (Being John Malkovitch, anyone?), which is why it’s been making rounds in the film fest circuit and where you’ll probably see it on DVD in a few months… if you’re looking. Still, it’s Giamatti. And the poster is kinda cool, too.