Just as John Malkovich played himself—well, sort of—in 1999's surreal comedy, Being John Malkovich, so Paul Giamatti, the sad-sack star of Sideways, stretches to portray Paul Giamatti in a similarly oddball comedy. While never as off-the-wall hilarious as Malkovich, Cold Souls has its moments. Anxious over a stage role, Giamatti visits a spiffy medical office in New York City where Dr. Flintstein (Strathairn) offers to extract his soul, thus relieving the actor of its burdens. Giamatti is whisked through a CAT scan-like machine and, voilà, his soul, which looks alarmingly like a chickpea, is removed and stored in a glass jar. His troubles are just beginning. While more fun on an intellectual level than at times it plays out onscreen, the sleekly shot Souls scores for being wildly imaginative and clever and for at least trying something different. First-time director-writer Sophie Barthes is clearly a comer.