A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A.I. Artificial IntelligenceBBB

(out of 5)

Reasonably interesting futuristic version of Pinocchio has Steven Spielberg filling in for the late great Stanley Kubrick, who had made this his next project after Eyes Wide Shut. Spielberg’s screenplay (his first penned alone since his Academy Award-nominated Close Encounters of the Third Kind) follows the plight of a young robot boy () created in a not-too-distant future to be a replacement for the child a lonely couple (, ) have lost to a seemingly never-ending coma. Unfortunately, their real son’s coma does end, and when he comes home there seems to be no room for this artificially created child. He sets off on a journey to find the blue fairy of the aforementioned Italian fable, who can turn him into a real boy and gain him the love of his mother; along the way he meets Gigolo Joe (, Osment’s fellow Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actor in 1999), a pleasure-model android who helps him on his quest. Spielberg’s style of filmmaking is definitely not one to be mistaken for Kubrick’s, and the clash of two cinematic perspectives is quite evident here, but what really keeps the film from achieving its greatness is how much Spielberg tries to emulate his late mentor. A more personal film wouldn’t feel so detached from the story’s more emotional moments, but as it is the film, like its main character, is far too desperate for our admiration and praise. Spielberg tries very hard for a Kubrickian mellow and methodical pace, but the plodding movement and low energy keep anything possibly interesting dampened. Spielberg does, however, create some very memorable moments visually, including an ocean-submerged Manhattan and a colourful android metropolis of hedonistic pleasure called Rouge City. The visual effects are truly awe-inspiring, as is Janusz Kaminski’s gorgeous photography, but the bland story relies so heavily on them that you feel you’ve been treated to nothing more than a gadgets-and-gizmos show of technical wizardry. Great performances, especially by Osment, but a very unaffecting film about (Kubrick’s favourite theme of) dehumanization.

Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Amblin Entertainment, Stanley Kubrick Productions

USA, 2001

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Screen story by , Screenplay by Steven Spielberg, based on the short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long by

Cinematography by

Produced by , , Steven Spielberg

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Award Nomination
Best Music (Original Score) (John Williams)
Best Visual Effects (Dennis Muren, Scott Farrar, Stan Winston, Michael Lantieri)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Jude Law)
Best Director (Steven Spielberg)
Best Original Score-Motion Picture (John Williams)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Films

British Academy Award Nomination
Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects

Chicago Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Supporting Actor (Jude Law)
Best Cinematography
Best Original Score



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