movies: stranger than fiction

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

stranger than fiction - harold crick isn't ready to go. period.Okay, let me say one thing before I start this...

I don't like Will Ferrell...

Well, maybe except for his role in The Producers... but that was a very small role...

Which is a pretty big call to make, especially when you've just been to see a movie starring Will Ferrell... and you feel the way I feel about this movie.

Because Stranger Than Fiction is for Will Ferrell what The Truman Show was for Jim Carrey... so much so that both Ma and I actually had the same thought, and she turned to me at the end of the movie to say as much while I was thinking about saying the very same thing to her.

It's the movie where the "clown" gets to show that, actually, underneath it all, he's really a damn fine actor, and that he can tone down all the stupidity.

And, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that unless I happen to talk myself out of it, this may be the first movie in 51 movie reviews to actually get a perfect score...

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

This movie just sucked me in from the very first second... from the impossibly long and beautiful tracking shot (which, although it was obvious that it had to be at least partially faked, since it started above the planet and ended up inside a house, was still stunning), to the graphical overlay stuff (which reminded me in some ways of the "furniture ad" piece at the beginning of Fight Club)... it just had me... 100%.

The one thing I was frightened about before the movie started was Will Ferrell pulling his usual over-the-top antics once he started to hear the "narration", but all in all it was a very restrained performance from him, certainly the most restrained of anything he's done so far... the character isn't someone who would go over-the-top like that, and Ferrell actually manages to do a wonderful job of making you care about his character.

But he's not the only one, it's actually a pretty stellar cast overall... Maggie Gyllenhaal as the love interest (who is perfect for her role, although the pairing of her and Ferrell did seem strange at first, but that could just be because I don't know how anyone could find him attractive... but their chemistry actually does work), Dustin Hoffman flexing his character acting chops once again, an unkempt, makeup-less and slightly manic Emma Thompson as the writer and narrator and Queen Latifah, who I just love in everything... well, everything I've seen her in anyway. Linda Hunt also makes a brief appearance (love her too), and I gotta say, although it's been a while since I saw her in anything... damn but she got OLD.

The other thing that's great about this movie is that you don't know how it's going to end... you think you do... then you're not sure... then you are sure... and then the ending happens...

And I won't lie... I cried like a little girlyman... big girlyman... hell, any size of girlyman you like... I just cried at the end. Which is not something I thought I would ever say about myself in connection with a Will Ferrell movie.

This is definitely one for the "Must Own" list.

And yes, since I couldn't actually come up with a single negative about it, this will be the first movie in the history of the blog to get...

yani's rating: 10 narrators out of 10


Sunshine Wednesday, February 14, 2007 8:54:00 am  

Thanks for this - I don't like Will Ferrell either. That was why even though the previews looked interesting, I didn't intend to see it. But given that you gave it 10 out of 10, I'll have to convince Sam to go and see it. :)

Michael Wednesday, February 14, 2007 9:42:00 am  

I'm with Sunshine. Despite the stellar cast and good trailer, I just don't see movies with Will Ferrell (or practically any SNL alum), but now I will. I better love it, bitch!

yaniboy Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:54:00 pm  

Oh Lordy... the pressure... well hopefully you both love it... but if you don't, well, I'll just be hiding behind this bullet proof glass for a bit...

peter Thursday, February 15, 2007 12:42:00 pm  

I also don't usually like Ferrell, but loved this movie. I really think it should have been nominated for an Oscar. Dare I say it may have been better than the uneven Dreamgirls?

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