Seen at the Cinema--4-Star ReviewHey--you out there! Go see the film Stranger than Fiction!
This is the most charming movie I've seen since this summer's Little Miss Sunshine. This movie is so well crafted. And the truly amazing thing is that I can't stand Will Farrel--don't like any of his movies except Elf--but here he has done what great comedians can do--play the straight man with such poignance, so moving. Like Bill Murray and Jim Carrey, Farrel has taken himself to a new level. Or maybe it's just the story.
Emma Thompson plays an eccentric, reclusive writer; Dustin Hoffman plays a wonderfully toned and timed Literary Professor; Queen Latifah is way underused in her role; Maggie Gyllanhaal is luminous--as usual; and then there's Will. He plays a US Tax Auditor who lives a very prescripted, boring life. The sets are amazing. Everything is utilitarian beige.
With foreshadowing and an interesting twist in plot, we begin to understand the power of the narrator. Can we be outside our life and witness it as my friend Tamara always encourages me to do--especially when I'm discouraged? Can the role of the witness challenge us to change? Do we recognize that one small change opens up an entirely different universe? We begin to see the power of death as a motivator. We begin to see how linked we are to people and things we don't even see. We begin to see destiny.
I don't want to give the entire story away, so let me just say that I walked out with a smile on my face. This movie is so well told; it's uplifting; it's funny; it's smart; and even though it's chock full of stars, it doesn't lose it's momemtum in personality. It's beautiful and it helps me to believe that we live in a beautiful world.