August 23, 2002 0 By Fans
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Still of Evan Rachel Wood in S1m0neStill of Rachel Roberts in S1m0neRachel Roberts at event of S1m0neStill of Pruitt Taylor Vince in S1m0neStill of Al Pacino and Catherine Keener in S1m0neStill of Al Pacino in S1m0ne


A producer's film is endangered when his star walks off, so he decides to digitally create an actress to substitute for the star, becoming an overnight sensation that everyone thinks is a real person.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 6.1/10 (32,352 voted)

Critic's Score: 49/100

Andrew Niccol

Stars: Al Pacino, Catherine Keener, Rachel Roberts

The career of a disillusioned producer, who is desperate for a hit, is endangered when his star walks off the film set. Forced to think fast, the producer decides to digitally create an actress "Simone" to sub for the star–the first totally believable synthetic actress. The "actress" becomes an overnight sensation, with a major singing career as well, and everyone thinks she's a real person. However, as Simone's fame skyrockets, he cannot bear to admit his fraud to himself or the world.


Al Pacino

Viktor Taransky

Benjamin Salisbury

Production Assistant

Winona Ryder

Nicola Anders

Darnell Williams

Studio Executive #1

Jim Rash

Studio Executive #2

Ron Perkins

Studio Executive #3

Jay Mohr

Hal Sinclair

Catherine Keener

Elaine Christian

Evan Rachel Wood

Lainey Christian Taransky

Jeffrey Pierce


Jeff Williams

Man in Suit

Rachel Roberts


(as Simone)

Mitzi Martin

Premiere Audience Member

Carole Androsky

Premiere Audience Member

(as Carol Androsky)

Christopher Neiman

Premiere Audience Member

On August 23, Meet a Real Fake


Official Website:
"Amalgamated Films" [United States]) |
"Eternity Forever – Amalgamated Films" [United States]) |

Release Date: 23 August 2002

Filming Locations: City Hall – 100 N. Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $3,813,463
(25 August 2002)
(1920 Screens)

Gross: $9,680,913
(6 October 2002)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


When Simone's costars for "Eternity Forever" with whom she conducts a meeting via telephone introduce themselves, most of them have computer software/hardware manufacturers' names: Corel, Claris (Simone worked with her cousin Dell), Hewlett, Lotus, and the two that aren't companies: Mac and Hal, the HAL 9000 from
2001: A Space Odyssey.


When the hologram is created for the concert, there is an actual microphone present which is not part of the hologram. During the song Simone is singing with the microphone in her hands, the microphone is missing from the standard.


[first lines]

Production Assistant:
Uh, Mr. Taransky, she's…

She's walking? Don't tell me she's walking. She can't walk!
[heads off running]


User Review

Uneven, but worth a good thoughtful viewing

Rating: 7/10

Victor Taransky is having a bad day… week… life.

A depressed visionary film director who can't compete with hype and
egotism and whose obsession with his own artistic integrity has lead
his career down a dead-end street, Taransky, with his career on the
ropes, is contacted by a man offering salvation in the form of the
perfect actor – a computer generated woman named S1m0n3. Simone's
success propels Taransky's career into the limelight, permitting him to
simultaneously lampoon all that he has come to despise in Hollywood and
to vicariously gain acceptance in it for himself. Taransky's invented
discovery successfully brings a few of his most cherished cinematic
visions to the screen and eventually overshadows him completely. Yet
Taransky finds himself even less happy, more lonely, and less satisfied
than he was before Simone. Taransky discovers that he, in fact, has an
ego of his own, and also discovers that success is meaningless without
his estranged wife and daughter. Since admitting Simone was never real
would jeopardize his own integrity, he embarks on a campaign to destroy
his own creation.

Winona Rider is typically superb in her relatively brief role, and the
performances in this film are generally good, but Pacino's acting is
just a hair under his usual perfection in this one. I am not sure why I
feel this way, but I'm not certain that Pacino enjoyed making this
film. Part of the problem here may be the fact that the script does not
allow for any obvious representation of self discovery for Pacino's
character. Since this film is, for both Taransky and his family, a
story of hard lessons learned about themselves, at least one epiphany
scene might have been appropriate. Another minor problem I had with the
script was the fact that it was hard for me to find any reason why
Taransky would want to reconnect with his ex-wife. She is one of the
most superficial and irritating characters in the film, most of the
time. However, these are rather personal gripes and may well be part of
some interpretive point which I missed. Perhaps, as in many other
exercises in Hollywood reflexivity such as the excellent "The Player",
the writer and director really did want to suggest that all that really
matters IS performance, and the quality of the act.

The pace of the first half of the film will likely turn off many
viewers, as might the sudden mood swings and the rather prolonged,
steeply descending and deep denouement after Taransky discovers that
career success does not guarantee satisfaction, and learns that to have
integrity one must act with integrity. But, just as the film begins its
long but rapid descent from irony and satiric comedy into dark drama,
the pace picks up and the film grabs your attention, holding fast until
the strong finish. This is a good film for a thoughtful, critical
audience, offering critique of Hollywood, commercial film, celebrity
worship and pop culture, but doing so without insulting its own
audience's intelligence.