The Congress is a half animated, half live-action movie coming to theaters on July 24. Israeli director, Ari Folman, created the fantasy mash-up featuring a famous American actress. The film stars Robin Wright, as herself, playing an aging and out of work actress, who sells her digital image to a production studio. She gets trapped in an identity crisis, as well as a bizarre cartoon universe, and is unable to gain control of herself.
Robin Wright rose to fame for the Princess Bride back in 1987, and continues to be a popular working actress to this day. However, in The Congress, she is aging fast and losing work. She has built up a reputation for being difficult to work with, and is having trouble supporting her sick son, who is losing his eyesight. She is then offered a highly profitable deal, brokered by her friend and agent Al, who is played by Harvey Keitel. Miramount Studios wants to buy her image and use it in any number of productions at will, essentially owning her. She agrees to sell the rights to her digital self, and promises to never act again. From there on the movie turns into a animated wonderland, closely resembling Cool World (1992), or Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). Her character attends the “Futurological Congress” twenty years later, in regards to a new technology, which allows people to turn into their animated selves. Her contract is ending and Miramount wants to sell her to “punters,” so that they can use her image. She becomes an advocate, in the crazy cartoon world, for individualism and freedom, believing that no one should be turned into a product. Throughout a rebel attack and political struggles, Robin Wright eventually gets frozen until a time when science has invented the cure needed for her mental illness.
Ari Folman wrote and directed the adaption for the film. The release on July 24, 2014, is his first film since Waltz with Bashnir (2008), where he first showcased his talents for animated films. In The Congress, he combines his talents for animation as well as live action directing to create a world in which top Hollywood studios control and own their actors, turning them into products for profit. The French – Israeli film premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, but has not made it to American theaters until this year. According to Folman, some inspiration for the film came from the science fiction book, The Futurological Congress by writer Stanislaw Lem. The animation for the film was done by French studio.
The filming was done in America back in 2011, and since Robin Wright has been busy with the Netflix Series, House of Cards. Other actors who appear in the movie are Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, and Danny Huston. The Congress has already premiered in France, and now its time for American audiences to get a taste of the Robin Wright’s cartoon ego in the futuristic fantasy world. The Congress enters theaters on July 24, 2014.
By Morgan Louchen