Directed by Andrew Niccol, starring Al Pacino, Catherine Keener, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Jay Mohr, Jason Schwartzman, Tony Crane, Elias Koteas and Rachel Roberts.
Abandoned by the demanding star of what he hopes will be his comeback film, director Viktor Taransky (Pacino) is on the skids. Fired by the head of the studio, his ex-wife Elaine (Keener), Taransky is in desperate need of a new leading lady. During a late trip to the studio - to steal the reels of his film - he is run to ground by mad computer scientist Hank Aleno (Koteas) who believes he has all the answers to the director's dilemma. After his death from an inoperable brain tumour, Aleno leaves Taransky his life's work: a computer generated actress with no temperament, no unreasonable demands, just pure digital synthesis that no one will believe isn't real.
Simone, her name derived from simulation one, rapidly becomes a Hollywood success story. Her films are hits and she is adored by audiences, who are only more tantalised by her Garbo-like reclusiveness. But, as the star starts to swallow up the starmaker, who's going to want to admit that they were fooled all along?
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol (writer/director of 'Gattaca' and the Oscar-nominated scribe of 'The Truman Show') the concept of a digitally created, media-generated megastar is great but ultimately 'S1m0ne' is as empty as its creation. It smiles, nods and makes all the right noises but there's not a shred of realness beneath the beautiful façade. The stage is set for satire but the film is ultimately toothless, unwilling to bite too hard on the hand that feeds.
It's not that 'S1m0ne' isn't entertaining - but that it could be so much more. A great opportunity wasted.