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The Truman Show

Director: Peter Weir
Producer: Edward S. Feldman, Andrew Niccol, Scott Rudin, Adam Schroeder
Screenwriter: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Ed Harris
MPAA Rating: PG
Year of Release: 1998
Released on Video: 01/12/99

Director Peter Weir and writer Andrew Niccol devised a carefully crafted object lesson on the need to question our reality.

Truman Burbank lives an ideal life in an ideal, if limited, world. Like each of us, he accepts his reality, shrugging off the occasional odd moment that just does not seem to fit the picture (as when a strange man leaps out of a Christmas present shouting incongruous protests and then is quickly wrestled out of the living room). Truman accepts his reality. What else is he to do? He is happy, more or less. And yet a subtle uneasiness seems to pervade his world.

As the audience gradually learns, Truman’s world is an elaborate hoax perpetrated on him by TV producer Christof. From his control room high in the artificial “sky”, Christof and his minions work 24/7 to maintain the increasingly complex illusion of reality and to prevent Truman from discovering it. Inevitably, he does, thus moving the film into the philosophical deep end of the pool as the Job-like “True-man” braves the God-like “Christ-off’s” worst tempest in his bid to escape the confines of a limited world view. As the filmmaker obviously intends, the audience learns that piercing the scrim of one’s reality can entail a dramatic shift in one’s priorities.

Viewing Suggestions:

While you watch the movie be aware that our beliefs can help us or mislead us. We form them unconsciously, without carefully examining all the evidence. Therefore, our beliefs about ourselves and about people are often less than completely reliable. Sometimes they are out of sync with objective reality. Such mistaken beliefs can limit what we see and cause us to act against the best interests of those we love and ourselves. Fortunately, when we discover we are holding a misleading belief, we are not stuck with it forever. Beliefs can change.

Ask Yourself:

- What negative beliefs are you holding about yourself?
- How do these beliefs affect you or other people in your life?
- Does your intuition tell you, or have you repeatedly heard from well-meaning honest friends, that these beliefs are not true?
- Are you willing to consider that these destructive beliefs are not more true than Truman’s beliefs about the world he was born into?