The Congress (2013)

(On Cable TV, October 2015)  I actually wanted to like this film, and for its first half-hour or so, I thought it was leading somewhere interesting.  The Congress (very loosely adapted from a Stanislaw Lem story) starts of promisingly by playing games with audiences, as Robin Wright is “Robin Wright”, a difficult actress offered a digitization contract by a Hollywood studio.  Accepting means that she will relinquish all rights to her performances while the studio uses her likeness in as many movies as they want.  So far so good, with Hollywood in-jokes butting heads against ideas about the future of cinema and the toll taken on actors.  But then The Congress jumps twenty years in the future, going from live-action of animation and getting dizzier by the moment.  What follows gets wilder, although less interesting as the sense of “anything can happen” almost negates the emotional stakes of the film.  After a good start, The Congress loses steam, doubles back on itself, gets more depressing as it advances and makes a mess out of provocative ideas.  Wright herself isn’t to blame: the script should have been able to tie up its premise with a great deal more wit and coherence.  The Congress, to be fair, isn’t the only recent SF film to start promisingly and end in a bid puddle of nonsense. (Also see: The Zero Theorem)  But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *