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File:Simone 974.jpg

S1m0ne is a 2002 Science Fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol and starring Al Pacino.

When the main star of film director Viktor Taransky's latest film walks over "creative differences", Taransky is left with two options: scrap the movie altogether, or find a replacement. Unfortunately, given Taransky's plummeting career and the esoteric nature of the film itself there are no actresses who are willing to take the part.

Or are there?

There is one last, desperate thing he could try: an acquaintance left him a computer program on a disk, and he can use that program to digitally create a replacement. It works - the film is a hit, and the "actress" is a runaway success, so Taransky markets her as a real person - giving webcam and phone interviews, "casting" her in his later films, and even performing a music concert as her, but things start to get out of hand. A pair of journalists who are trying to get a lead on the famously reclusive "Simone" are starting to suspect something is wrong, and Taransky himself is beginning to feel overshadowed by his creation.

This film contains examples of:

  • Authentication by Newspaper: After Taransky fakes Simone's death and is arrested for her murder, his daughter creates a video of Simone holding up a headline proclaiming that she is dead.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The film mentions and includes video clips and pictures of numerous real-life actresses, models and singers, but apparently Al Pacino, Rebecca Romijn and Winona Ryder never it hit it big in this universe. Winona Ryder actually plays an actress, Nicola Anders, who is as big as Ryder ever was in real life.
  • Character as Himself: Simone is credited as "And Introducing Simone".
  • Covered in Mud: When Taransky trys to discredit Simone, he has her rolling in the mud with pigs, in the hopes that the audience would be completely disgusted. The ploy backfires because the film gets a standing ovation.
  • Idol Singer: The titular Simone.
  • Ignored Confession: Victor told two guys at the "Eternity Forever" premiere party that Simone doesn't exist and they ignore him because they spot a girl who they thought was Simone.
  • Invented Individual: Taransky's attempts to cover up the fact that she is not real dominate the movie, including several people who claim that they have met her, because they would be too embarrassed to admit that they were taken in. Eventually, to cover up the charade, he fakes her death and is arrested for her murder.
  • Lucky Charms Title
  • Period Piece: "Sunrise, Sunset," a 19th Century piece that Taransky was working on during the beginning of the film. It was a major success when finally released with Simone as the leading role, but by all accounts it was never any good at all, filled with cheesy symbolism and esoteric imagery.
  • Robot Names: "Simone" is short for "Simulation One".
  • Sanity Slippage: Taransky clearly has issues from the very beginning, he is already holding a two-way conversation with "Simone" in their first scene together, but he begins to delve deeper and deeper into dissociative identity disorder as the movie progresses. Not only does he grow increasingly jealous of Simone's success, he begins to devalue himself and his contributions to her work, having Simone thank everybody except him in her Oscar acceptance speech. He finally realizes that he has crossed some sort of psychological line when he did not even realize he had left himself out of her speech until his wife and daughter mention it.
  • Show Within a Show: Produced during this film were "Sunrise, Sunset", a 19th century Period Piece, "Eternity Forever," a romance that Taransky himself had written nine years ago, and "I AM PIG," a film "directed" by Simone that Taransky hoped would torpedo her career. They were all smash hits.
  • Snowball Lie
  • Springtime for Hitler: "I AM PIG", one of the films Taransky creates for Simone featuring the actress in a wedding gown eating from a pig trough, and Simone's vulgar TV interview were all an attempt by Taransky to destroy her celebrity status, but they just made her more and more celebrated as an "artist" and somebody who "spoke her mind."
  • Virtual Celebrity: The premise of the film. In pre-production the plan was to use an actual CGI-model for the character of Simone, inspired by the technical achievements Final Fantasy the Spirits Within, but protests from the Screen Actors Guild brought that to a halt. The SAG feared that the next inevitable step would be the complete replacement of all actors by computer models and lobbied hard against even its satirical use.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: "Sunrise, Sunset" was apparently supposed to be a deep artistic film, full of symbolism and meaning, but all relevant comments imply that it was nothing but cheap clichés that nobody (either on or off the set) would "get."
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: Due to preparations for the Oscars.
  • You Have to Believe Me: When Taransky tries to explain the situation to this ex-wife, he mumbles at length about how he created Simone and how he built her, with the occasional mention that she "isn't real." The end result is an apparently drunk director taking credit for the success of his star while trying to paint her as an untalented phony. If he had just opened with the words "computer program," or given the speech in the computer room, he could have avoided a lot of the end problems.