Simone

 (367)
6.11 h 57 min2002PG-13
When a temperamental actress walks off the set, director Viktor Taransky is in trouble so he decides to take matters into his own hands -- digitally, that is.
Directors
Andrew Niccol
Starring
Al PacinoCatherine KeenerPruitt Taylor Vince
Genres
ComedyDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Jay MohrEvan Rachel WoodElias KoteasJason Schwartzman
Producers
Andrew Niccol
Studio
New Line
Rating
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

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Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

367 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

D. DaltonReviewed in the United States on November 1, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Al Pacino- excellent as usual
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"Simone" is a very entertaining movie with Al Pacino leading the way. You can enjoy this more if you don't get hung up on the unreal computer technology involved in the plot...just use your imagination. There is a good amount of social commentary within the film that is very visible in our society, not only in the entertainment realm but also in the political one (I won't comment specifically). Don't take "Simone" too seriously- just enjoy.
One person found this helpful
PhotoscribeReviewed in the United States on December 18, 2007
4.0 out of 5 stars
So much more could have been done with this....
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While beautifully photographed and decently acted, you get the feeling that "S1m0ne" is right on the cusp of something really swift, but loses its compass heading just before this "thing" pops up.

What we have here is essentially "Maxine Headroom", a computer generated character serving as a media alter ego for someone in ratings or ticket-sale purgatory. In the case of "S1m0ne", it DEFINITELY helps the poor, sad sack character, played by Al "Too Intense For Words" Pacino, who here is untypically mellow for just about the entire picture. Pacino takes the unexpected present, (from an old colleague,) of "Simulation One" and turns her into the biggest cash cow since Mickey Mouse! Without anyone ever having seen her in the flesh, "S1m0ne" becomes as big as Julia Roberts and Sharon Stone put together in digitally edited movies. Everything she burps is considered sacred and profound and Pacino even manages to stage a holographic concert, which probably satisfies the virtual guessers in the cast to some degree. However, two reporters are obsessed with both S1m0ne and her Paul Winchell, (Pacino's character Viktor Taransky,) and after Viktor gets sick and tired of his creation getting all the kudos while all he does is speak through her, and he decides to kill off S1m0ne, these two try and expose him as a murderer.

I'm not going to ruin the ending for you, but suffice it to say that it's a good thing that Taransky took time out to have a family on his way through Hollywood!

Done before, and maybe redone a little better, and a DEFINITE change of pace for Pacino.
3 people found this helpful
Edward S. BrownReviewed in the United States on August 3, 2009
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Charisma of Simone
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"Simone" is "A Thinking Person's" movie. It's one of those "would if" movies where the concept trumps the acting and cinematography. Would if you could digitally produce a musician, athlete or actor for the pure purpose of entertaining a population and didn't have to worry about prima donnas, excessive salaries and bloated budgets? What if, for the first time, a bona fide celebrity could be created from the dark recesses of a computer and appear more real than the latest phenom? From the election of the President to the latest fad, "Simone" shows how far society has come in creating illusions that people not only buy into, but relish as a way of life better than reality. There is philosophical subtext throughout "Simone" commenting on how far we've devolved as a society without being sermonic. However, what initially was a moral dilemma becomes an acceptance of the world "as is." In the end, the audience is left with the option of fighting an uphill battle over reality or surrendering by adapting to the environment of illusion. Darwin said that the person best able to adapt to an environment would thrive.

"Simone" is a comedy, but the concept is strikingly real.

Edward Brown
Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute
[...]
4 people found this helpful
HunterReviewed in the United States on November 14, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most honest man I never met...
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It's Al. And he's giving a raw look into his industry because he can- he's got the clams to do it and the power os they say yes. Reminds me of all the actors that have the courage to make films about what they want to express. What has brought them to the bottle (Not Al) over their careers. I suggest reading Conversations with Al. Great book. Interviews from 79'-85'-90'-95...imagine that: his viewpoint right after he was a set for life icon and millionaire,, pre Scarface, post Godfather 2 and getting bottles throw at his apartment as he was filming Cruising (and eating a lot of half eaten cookies) to him fresh out of Vincent Hanna from HEAT. READ IT.
2 people found this helpful
Greg T.Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful, but tried to do too much
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Simone is about a very artistic film director (Pacino) who feels underappreciated toward himself and toward movies, that they should be creative works of art that are created by the visionary director rather than the stars that act in them.
At a low point in his career, Viktor (Pacino) inherits a computer program from a scientist he met at a film conference awhile back. It turns out that this program is the key to everything he's ever wanted in film-making; a completely real looking actress that he can design and control every word and every feeling of in order to shape his movies exactly the way he envisions without the pain of dealing with whiny actors and actresses.
His first movie with her as the lead not only saves his career, but is such a smash hit that the public becomes ravenous for more. Viktor hides her from the public constantly, which only fuels their desire to see her and love for her.
Eventually, things get so out of hand that Viktor decides to get everyone to back off by making Simone unlikable. He stars her in a humiliating film and has her go on a talk show denouncing things people tend to like and endorsing things like "eating dolphin" that most people tend to frown upon. None of these things work, and only serves to give Simone a more multi-dimentional personality that facinates the public.
So then he decides the only way to get rid of her is to "kill" her. This backfires, and he is accused of murdering Simone and covering up the evidence.
In my review, I won't say anything particular about the ending, but all in all, Simone is a very enjoyable movie.
I think it should be noted that probably the real reason this movie wasn't a larger hit with moviegoers lies in a couple very interesting points:
1. It is incorrectly classified as a Comedy first, and a Drama second. It should be the other way around because people going to the movies expecting a flat out comedy would be duly disappointed. It is more of a drama that has funny parts.
2. The movies tries to do "too much" in the way of themes and messages to the audience. At first its about the morality of digital creation and deception, then it becomes about Viktor's obsession with wanting to be recognized, then it's about the creation developing a life of its own. The movie did very well incorporating all of these things together, but did not conclude any of them with any great degree of satisfaction. I think it would've been more successful focusing on just one of the themes and developing it to the fullest.
But aside from all of that, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and think that it never got the attention it deserved. So that is why I write the review and give 5 stars. Very good.
6 people found this helpful
Robert CarlbergReviewed in the United States on October 12, 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars
Whose Ox is Gored?
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This movie surprised me quite a bit, because it is so cynical of the motion picture industry and the cult of celebrity worship. The idea that a gullible public would fall in love with an electronic avatar, and could be manipulated so shamelessly seemed just a little far-fetched -- until you consider Hollywood.

With its airbrushed and nip-tucked actors & actresses being hawked continuously by "celebrity TV" and "celebrity magazines," now we even have celebrities who are famous simply for being famous. Going to parties, shopping in trendy stores and other trappings of fame has become synonymous with actually BEING famous, and apparently if you have enough money you can buy public adoration through the graces of the greedy celebrity industry. America hungers for heroes -- or people who spend like them.

So it's NO WONDER that the movie industry (which includes the studios, actors, agents, publicists, press and distributors) has turned a cold shoulder to this film. It may be just a little bit too close to home.
6 people found this helpful
D. J. ZabriskieReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars
Viscoulsly Funny, but...
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This movie is a lot better than most critics thought at the time of its relaese. Unfortunately, it runs out of gas just as it should be peaking. What elevates it is its merciless satire of American pop culture driven by mass-media communications and computer technology which has approached the levels of the miraculous.

Al Pacino plays Victor Taransky, a Hollywood director in a tailspin until a series of accidents lead him to create the world's first

"virtual" movie star, Simone. Although no one has ever seen "the real Simone (the movie's original title, by the way), she is so flawless, so beautiful, so ideal in every way, that everybody wants her. The movie uses this contradiction and frustration of expectations to mercilessly skewer the masses' will to believe an appealing fantasy, regardless of its being "too good to be true," in scene after scene for nearly two-thirds of the picture. There is a rising level of satirical hilarity during that time that no Hollywood movie since "Dr. Strangelove" has approached.

Al Pacino devours this role like a starving man let loose in an Italian deli. He always hits just the right note with just the right inflection, and his timing is impeccable. It's too bad that the character of Victor Taransky owes more to Pacino's wonderful performance than what's in the script.

What defeats this film from achieving true greatness is the fact that it is, after all, a one-joke comedy. Even as brilliant as it is (and it is brilliant), that joke eventually runs out of momentum. Finally, after sustaining its tough-as-nails cynicism for most of its running time, it finds its heart, which deflates it pretty quickly. Things are not helped by the fact that most of the dramatis personae are really caricatures, rather than characters, who rely on brilliant performances by a fine ensemble cast, rather than a brilliant script to flesh them out. So, when Victor and his scam are finally exposed, it is neither tragic nor funny, but merely sad.

Nevertheles, for two-thirds of its running time, this movie will have laughing hysterically, not at the characters, but at ourselves. Watching Pacino lip-synching "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" at Simone's concert premiere as a pop diva is one of the most deliciously whacky and FUNNY scenes to come out of a Hollywood movie in decades!
5 people found this helpful
Courtney RabideauReviewed in the United States on September 16, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars
What's Real?
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Vicktor Turanski is a director that has not had good luck with diva actresses. He meets up with a dieing compture wiz that tells him about this new thing he has done with his computure. Simulated a human. Soon the computer junkie is dead and he gives the simulation to Viktor. This gives Viktor an idea.

He takes clips from a movie that the diva actress left and puts the simulated woman into it. He calls her Simone. Soon simone is the hottest actree ever and everybody wants to meet Simone. Vicktor does his best, and is actually able to fool her fans by elbaratly tricking many people.

Soon Simone is taking over his life and he decides to get rid of her. Only people believe that he killed her. With the help of his daughter and ex-wife he fools people into believing Simone needed time off to have his baby and he and his ex-wife get back together.
5 people found this helpful
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