#058 Peter Weir: The Truman Show vs. Green Card

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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Peter Weir’s best and worst rated films, The Truman Show (1998) and Green Card (1990), respectively. Nate was completely taken by surprise with every twist and turn of Green Card, Austin hates the French, and they both oggle over Jim Carrey some more.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995) and The Brothers Grimm (2005), his best and worst rated films.

Also check out these interviews with the cast of The Truman Show:

Green Card Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A man wanting to stay in the US enters into a marriage of convenience, but it turns into more than that.

  • Ratings: IMDb 6.2 | RT 56% C / 51% A
  • Released: 1990
  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Writer(s): Peter Weir (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Geoffrey Simpson (Shine, The Sessions, Little Women)
  • Notable actors: Gerard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth, Gregg Edelman, Robert Prosky
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: $29.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Star Andie MacDowell was totally surprised when Peter Weir asked her to gain weight. She had always been asked to do the opposite.
    • First American film for and first film shot in the USA of French actor Gérard Depardieu.
    • The picture was Oscar nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Peter Weir but lost out to Bruce Joel Rubin for Ghost (1990). The film remains Weir’s only ever Oscar nomination for screen-writing. Of Weir’s six nominations [to date, June 2015], four are for directing, and one each for producing and for writing (Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) the latter being for Green Card (1990).
    • Green Card (1990) was the first cinema movie helmed by director Peter Weir after his critically acclaimed film Dead Poets Society (1989).

The Truman Show Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.1 | RT 94% C / 88% A
  • Released: 1998
  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Writer(s): Andrew Niccol (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Peter Biziou (Life of Brian, In the Name of the Father)
  • Notable actors: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor, Brian Delate, Peter Krause, Ted Raymond, Judy Clayton, Ed Harris, Paul Giamatti, Harry Shearer, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Glass
  • Budget: $60 million
  • Box office: $264.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Ed Harris and Jim Carrey never met during filming.
    • In an interview, director Peter Weir stated he wanted to have cameras installed in every theater the film was shown in, having the projectionist at one point cut the power, cut to the viewers, and then cut back to the movie.
    • The Trumania bit, where Truman draws on the mirror with soap and acts strange, was completely improvised by Jim Carrey. In another take, he drew long curly hair and a dress.
    • People on the set were forbidden from uttering phrases from Jim Carrey’s past “silly” movies.
    • In an early scene, a bottle of vitamin D is on on Truman and Meryl’s kitchen table, needed for those without exposure to the (real) sun.
    • According to a 2008 New York Times article, psychologists in Britain and the U.S. reported a number of people experiencing “Truman Syndrome” or “the Truman Show delusion,” the belief that they are the unwitting star of their own reality TV show. Reportedly, many of those afflicted have specifically mentioned the film while in therapy. More recently, on September 16, 2013, the detailed account of one Ohio student who suffered for years from the Truman-Show delusion is documented in the New Yorker magazine article, “Unreality Star,” by Andrew Marantz.
    • The film is studied in Media Ethics courses, particularly focusing on the characters of creator Christof, best friend Marlon and the “prostituting” of Truman’s wife, Meryl.
    • Jim Carrey was Peter Weir’s first choice to play Truman from the outset.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


The Best and Worst of the Best Podcast is a show where host’s Nate and Austin compare a film director’s best and worst rated movies to see where they went wrong.

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