The Truman Show (1998)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Story unique for its time and a bit prophetic


Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Truman Show

Studio:  Scott Rudin Productions

Genre(s):  Drama/Comedy

Release Date(s):  June 5, 1998

MPAA Rating:  PG


Why does it always rain on me?

Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) sometimes feels like the world revolves around him.  Everyone seems to know him and cater to him.  Truman is right.  He’s the star of the world’s most popular show and does know it.  Raised in a world created by Christof (Ed Harris), Truman is about to have his world, his marriage to Meryl (Laura Linney), and his friendship with Marlon (Noah Emmerich) thrown in question…Truman’s about to discover his life is a lie.

Directed by Peter Weir, The Truman Show is a dramatic comedy.  The film was well received by critics and was a financial success.  The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.


Saying goodnight to Truman…

I really liked The Truman Show when it was released in 1998.  Reality shows were relatively unknown at the time or small scale (like The Real World or Road Rules) and the idea of world full of cameras was beginning to develop.  Watching The Truman Show years later, it is interesting to see how it held up…and how somethings came true.

The Truman Show was quite original.  The way the movie is shot through odd uses of cameras resembles the modern reality show (or hidden camera show).  The idea that a whole area could be canvased by cameras was absurd, but with almost everyone having broadcast ability from a phone, it isn’t that far from reality.  The movie mixes this hyper reality with smartly contrived TV clichés and storytelling to mix in with the crumbling world of Truman.


Corporate whore!

Jim Carrey had not done “serious”.  He had been Ace Venture and a regular on In Living Color and I was a bit leery of him as serious.  He does pull it off decently in scenes (like the ending sequence), but there are other times where the comedic Jim Carrey overflows into the movie.

Carrey is joined by a great supporting cast with Laura Linney as his actress wife willing to say anything for the advertisers, Ed Harris as the crafter of the world, Natascha McElhone as the dream girl Sylvia, and Noah Emmerich as the best friend Marlon.  The movie also has a number of good actors in small roles and cameos like Peter Krause, Paul Giamatti, Harry Shearer, Philip Baker Hall, and composer Philip Glass.


Sometime you talk figuratively about the world falling apart…here it is literal.

The movie looks quite good.  It was shot in a perspective to be closer to TV but most DVD and presentations cut it to a widescreen format.  Some criticism questioned why Truman didn’t see things like the cameras, etc. in his everyday life, but as said in the movie, you believe the world you are presented with…he grew up with these oddities (and actually I don’t know that he’d simply fall out of believing the world as easy as he did since he’s always been in a fake reality).

The Truman Show was a bit of a sign of the future and a warning.  It shows the extreme nature of the reality show.  One interesting effect of The Truman Show was psychological.  There were a lot of reports of mental breakdowns where the people thought they were being videotaped and broadcast around the world…proving that it might not be that much of a stretch.  In a world of selfies and YouTube, everyone wants to live The Truman Show.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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