Friday, April 20, 2007
Scene Gems: Jim Carrey Takes Wife on Wild Ride in 'The Truman Show'
Peter Weir's The Truman Show (1998) is a prophetic film, detailing what it would be like if a reality show covertly televised the entire life of one person. That one person is Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), who has lived in the "perfect" (read: fake) community of Seahaven his whole life. After some technical lapses in the production, Truman starts to suspect some sort of conspiracy.
While this movie is about Truman and his Show, it also works well on an allegorical level. The "creator" of the show is the god-like (and named) Christof (Ed Harris), who feels that he is the best parent Truman could ever have. Like all children who long to be free, Truman sets out to break the spatial chains that confine him on his island prison. The end of the movie is very poetic, inspirational, and clever.
That's not to say there is no comedy. In this scene, Carrey demonstrates to "wife" Laura Linney some things that are a bit weird in their neighborhood. Carrey's expressions and delivery are priceless, but don't discount Linney. She is every bit as good as an actress under duress ("I can't work under these conditions!").
I also like Weir's method of shooting, a lot of which looks like the POV of a hidden camera. Making the vignetting of the lens obvious, as well as rapid attempts to find the shot (much like a live TV production) help cement the illusion. Weir doesn't use this technique exclusively, but melds it with traditional angles for a more balanced attack.