A neurotic actor, struggling to perform in a Chekhov play, has his soul temporarily extracted and rents a Russian one. Success– rave reviews! Now he must find and reclaim his soul which has been stolen and implanted in someone else.

    (40 words)

    Cold Souls

    (2009)

    Singularity Posted on April 4, 2020 in Comedy,   Examples.

    A surreal premise, difficult to pitch in a succinct logline. But well-executed by a talented cast led by Paul Giamatt playing a thoroughly neurotic version of himself. (Or maybe not?)

    The premise has a lot of meat — interesting ideas, plot twists, amusing ironies — on the bones of the plot. Lots to laugh at — and think about. One of my favorite films.

    on April 4, 2020.
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    2 Review(s)

      As I indicated, this is not an easy film to logline. I originally thought only to post a logline with the story hook.  Just the 1st sentence that lays down the set up:

      A neurotic actor, struggling to perform in a Chekhov play, has his soul temporarily extracted and rents a Russian one.

      The 2nd sentence refers to the MPR moment.

      Actually, the first sentence doesn’t really convey how the plot unfolds.  Here’s the sequence of plot beats:

      1]INITIAL SITUATION: the actor is floundering in rehearsals to play Uncle Vanya.
      2]INCITING INCIDENT: At tip from his agent about a New Yorker article on soul extraction directs him to a consultation.
      3] DEBATE AND INDECISION: After learning more and overcoming his doubts and concerns…
      4]END OF ACT ONE: He crosses the threshold, has his ineffectual soul extracted and stored.

      5]BUT (complication):  Not having a soul to put into the role only makes his performance worse.
      6] In desperation, he rents the soul of a female Russian poet.
      7] Now he’s able to give a soulful performance. Success!
      8]BUT (complication): he develops an allergic reaction: the Russian poet’s soul is too great to dwell in a mediocre person such as the actor.  So he must return it and regain his own soul.
      9]MPR:  He goes to retrieve his soul from storage, discovers it’s gone.

      Singularity Answered on April 7, 2020.
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        Checked it out on IMDB – looks interesting.

        Singularity Answered on April 5, 2020.
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