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To bring their characters to life on the big screen, movie animators have been known to devote endless hours observing the idiosyncrasies of their subjects. For the underwater epic "Finding Nemo," Pixar's artists painstakingly analyzed video of fish swimming. And Disney's cartoonists traveled to the wilds of Africa to study animal movement up close for "The Lion King."
Watching "Igor," the story of a lab lackey with ambitions far beyond his station, you can't help wondering if the team at Sparx Animation Studios camped out in a university research lab. How else could they have so accurately captured the minute details of the beleaguered graduate student? The invariably mussed hair. The skin that never sees sunlight. The permanent hunch.
?The Insider? is one juicy oyster of a movie with many pearls to offer. In this film, which is based on a true story, science and media converge and collide and then come together for the benefit of society.
Russell Crowe plays Jeffrey Wigand, a Ph.D. biochemical engineer with an impressive résumé. Prior to going to work as vice president and head of research and development for cigarette company Brown & Williamson, Wigand worked in R&D for a number of major pharmaceutical companies. As the only breadwinner in his family, he is drawn to the job in Louisville for the salary, health insurance?his eldest daughter has serious asthma?good schools, and lifestyle. Also, he is led to believe that there is potential for doing research that would actually benefit the health of smokers, developing a low-tar cigarette.