The Samuel Goldwyn Company has released the first trailer for one of their Sundance pickups, the Sophie Barthes directed Cold Souls today. It stars Paul Giamatti as himself, an actor living in New York trying to get a grip on an upcoming off-Broadway role. In doing so, he comes across a high-class ‘soul removal’ service led by a rather sketchy, but oddly comforting doctor, played by David Strathairn. After having his soul removed, Paul soon realizes that things just aren’t the same — and he needs it back. Unfortunately it has already been taken by a Russian soul trafficker named Nina (Dina Korzun). Now he must travel, soulless, across the world to get back the soul that is rightfully his.

This was one of the better films that I reviewed at Sundance this past year, and I’m sticking to my initial assessment that this is a visually impressive work from Barthes, flanked perfectly by a stellar performance from Paul Giamatti. It’s the fresh, new kind of sci-fi dramedy that could very well break through to the mainstream, even though it has a very Charlie Kaufman-was-here vibe to it. Think Eternal Sunshine meets Being John Malkovich, with soul removal. Seriously, it is that good. For more, check out my review from Sundance.

Cold Souls is scheduled to hit theaters in limited release on August 7, 2009. Have a look at the first trailer by clicking below, courtesy of Apple.

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