Who better to portray someone with a soul the size of a chickpea than Paul Giamatti? A man whose obsession with anger, spite and conformity to his own reality has steered some of his finest performances. Cold Souls feels like a continuation of the narcissism of Miles from Sideways. He wasn’t as soulless, but certainly just as driven and running on empty. There are parts of American Splendor chipping away at the isolation and glum colour tones used throughout this Sophie Barthes piece. What an undersung piece it is too, with its commentary on Anton Chekov bleeding through into a piece that looks to rip into Giamatti’s neurosis and talent as he adapts his best character of all, himself.
For all the classic adoration and achievements it achieved, The Silence of the Lambs was the tip of a nasty iceberg. Beyond its creation and before its heightened relevancy in culture, adaptations of other Thomas Harris work swirled the drainpipe of culture. Red Dragon is an inevitability. It is not as engaging as the first adaptation of Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter, but it is a tumble down from the quality found in The Silence of the Lambs. To consider Red Dragon as anything more than a clumsy encounter with the Brian Cox, near-perfect original, would be shameful. For that is what it is. A tense and unorganised ensemble coming together to capitalise on the on-screen presence of Anthony Hopkins’ rendition of the iconic cannibal character.