Aka âBeing Paul Giammati,â in which the actor, playing himself, attempts to remedy his lackluster rehearsals for a stage production of Uncle Vanya by having his soul removed and put into storage by an obliging scientist (David Strathairn). As if that werenât preposterous enough, Giamattiâs soul (it resembles a garbanzo) gets lifted by a Russian soul smuggler (Dina Korzun) and sold to a gangsterâs wife in St. Petersburg, bringing the Chekhov effect full circle. Amazingly, the absurd plot by French-born writer-director Sophie Barthes (apparently no relation to Roland) actually works, thanks to Giamatti. Heâs in high Sideways form here, whether disparaging the size and shape of his neglected soul or traipsing around St. Petersburg in a ridiculous borrowed fur hat. Also with Emily Watson (as Giamattiâs wife), Katheryn Winnick, and Sergey Kolesnikov (both gangsters) (101 min.).
Director: Sophie Barthes
Writer: Sophie Barthes
Producer: Daniel Carey
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Emily Watson, Dina Korzun, David Strathairn, Lauren Ambrose, Katheryn Winnick, Boris Kievsky, Oksana Lada, Natalia Zvereva and Rebecca Brooksher