Favourites Friday – The Truman Show

The Truman Show (1998)

Director: Peter Weir
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

I got thinking about The Truman Show after a friend at work said how The Adjustment Bureau reminded him of it. I can see where he’s coming from, people planning which direction your life will take without you knowing it.

I think that The Truman Show is one of Jim Carrey’s best films. It would seem that most of the movie world agrees with me as The Truman Show holds a 95% fresh ranking on Rotten Tomatoes and 90/100 on Metacritic – very respectable!

The Truman Show is the story of Truman Burbank, an insurance salesman who finds out that his entire life is a television show. Chosen out of five unwanted pregnancies, Truman was legally adopted by a television corporation and his whole life has been captured on camera.

We’re all familiar with the concept of ‘Big Brother’, but director Peter Weir and writer Andrew Niccol took a different approach with The Truman Show. When Truman finally meets Christof, the creator of ‘The Truman Show’, it is actually very endearing: Christof maintains that the artificial world he has created for Truman is perfect. Truman simultaneously becomes drawn to and repelled by Christof.

Truman, Christof, Meryl (Truman’s wife) and Marlon (Truman’s best friend) are all great characters. When Truman starts doubting the world around him, Meryl and Marlon’s reactions are fantastic. It is down to them to convince him that everything is okay. Natascha McElhone plays Lauren/Sylvia very well, too. Sylvia was hired to be an extra, Lauren, but was fired before she could reveal the truth to Truman.

The supporting cast of the viewers are great, too. ‘The Truman Show’ has been airing for the past 34 years and, in the real world, people have become very attached to Truman as, after all, they have been watching him since he was a baby. Indeed, his face is even on a few people’s cushions…

Of course, The Truman Show is a film but it does raise some interesting questions. Is the world Christof has created that awful? Could Truman have lived a happy and fulfilled life if the show had continued? That, my friends, is for you to decide.

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4 thoughts on “Favourites Friday – The Truman Show”

  1. Very interesting review Claire. I particularly like your point about Truman’s artificial world being the “perfect” existence. Even in television’s Big Brother, there is an element of support from “Big Brother” not seen in the real world that makes the artificial existence more appealing – eg. nothing really bad can happen to inhabitants of the Big Brother house, they all protected by a security staff, they will never go hungry, they will always have a roof over their heads and medical attention if they need it. It’s quite an appealing existence!

    The Truman Show is a great film. Jim Carrey should have made more films of this quality.

    1. I agree, Dan. The world Christof created for Truman was very safe, very sheltered. On the one hand, it is quiet an appealing way of life. However – and I know this is a bit random! – it reminds me of how some parents wrap their kids in cotton wool and don’t let them experience playing with mud etc. We all need to make our mistakes and make our own decisions.

      The Truman Show really is an ace film!

  2. Ah, a movie with Laura Linney before she was good. Also, Ed Harris’ Christof in five minutes did more than Jim Carrey in this whole movie.

    It’s an interesting movie, the beginning of Jim Carrey dabbling in drama.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! In my opinion, it is a great movie and it definitely throws up some interesting questions: Christof has created a massive TV set and attempted to make a perfect life for Truman…

      It’s definitely philosophical stuff!

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