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The Congress

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Israel, Germany, Poland
·
2013

2h 2m

Director Ari Folman
Starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm, Danny Huston
Genre Drama, Science Fiction, Animation
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More than two decades after catapulting to stardom with The Princess Bride, Robin Wright decides to take her final job: preserving her likeness for a future Hollywood. Through a deal brokered by her loyal, longtime agent and the head of Miramount Studios, her digital doppelganger will be controlled by the studio, and will star in any film they want, with no restrictions. In return, she receives healthy compensation so she can care for her ailing son. Twenty years later, under the creative vision of the studio’s head animator, Wright’s double rises to immortal stardom. With her contract expiring, she is invited to speak at Miramount's "Futurological Congress". However, a group of terrorists plot an attack on the convention.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

50

Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

The film lacks the manic fly-by-night invention of, say, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, or even the ripe erotic ambiguity of something like Avatar.
60

Empire by Dan Jolin

A fascinating and visually impressive intellectual helter-skelter ride, but the lack of narrative coherence lets down its promising sci-fi concepts and satire.
100

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

A wholly original and thoroughly surprising fusion of sensory overload and liberal philosophy bound to confuse and provoke in equal measures.
67

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Overloaded with too many ideas, it does scant justice to the more interesting ones that crop up, while regularly diverting from any sort of central narrative to follow tenuous and ill-explained threads that end up in a foggy limbo. But just when it threatens to wholly frustrate, someone cracks an enjoyable inside-baseball meta movie-making joke and we're back on side for a bit.
87

Film.com by Jordan Hoffman

The first half of “The Congress,” while still fascinating, does suffer a bit from keeping its focus on the gripes and accusations between Hollywood actors and producers...Once the Philip K. Dick-meets-”Inception” second half kicks in, the implications grow more universal.
60

The Dissolve by Noel Murray

Too much of Ari Folman’s half-animated science-fiction feature The Congress feels just a bit off—but every now and then, the concept, the performances, and Folman’s visual flair combine to produce something extraordinary.
40

Variety by Peter Debruge

Apart from its general knock against ageism in Hollywood, The Congress doesn’t have much insight to offer on the subject.
60

Time Out London by Tom Huddleston

Folman’s vision is just too personal and obtuse, and the result can feel rather like watching someone else drop acid, enjoying their giddy descriptions of all the pretty colours but unable to fully engage.
60

The Guardian by Xan Brooks

The Congress contains tricks aplenty and ideas in abundance. The problem comes in herding these scattered, floating elements towards a satisfying whole.

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