In response to shiny, bigger, better American consumerism comes Cold Souls, a metaphysical comedy in which souls can be extracted and traded as commodities. Balancing on a tightrope between deadpan humor and pathos, and between reality and fantasy, the film presents Paul Giamatti as himself, agonizing over his interpretation of Uncle Vanya. Paralyzed with anxiety, he stumbles upon a solution via a New Yorker article about a high-tech company promising to alleviate suffering by deep-freezing souls. Giamatti enlists their services, intending to reinstate his soul once he survives the performance. But complications ensue when a mysterious, soul-trafficking mule borrows Giamatti's stored soul for an ambitious, but unfortunately talentless, soap-opera actress. Rendered soulless, he is left with no choice but to follow the trail back to St. Petersburg.