A Star Is Born

Yesterday, in fact, in Andrew Niccols Simone

How difficult it becomes for Viktor to fess up once the lie of Simone has taken on a life of its own is utterly believable. How far he will go to perpetuate the fraud—and then end it—produces genuine laughs. Of course, the problem is not Simone's shallow, encoded roots. The bugaboo is the worshipful industry that congeals around the belief that she is flesh and blood. As Viktor's ultrareasonable daughter tells him, "We're fine with fake as long as you don't lie about it."

Over the past few weeks, there has been something of a convoy in op-ed pieces bemoaning the bad faith and fraudulent tics of popular film. It must be summer. In Simone, Niccol gives audiences a very amusing puzzle about authenticity, fraud, and the uses and abuses of technology. That is a fine and funny feat. The very folks responsible for our obsession with celebrity will likely love it. And in loving it, they will no doubt let themselves off the hook.

Simone was written, directed and produced by Andrew Niccol; and stars Al Pacino, Catherine Keener and Evan Rachel Wood. Now playing countywide.

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