Sunday, December 03, 2006
Film Review: Stranger Than Fiction
Stranger Than Fiction (12a)
Dir. Marc Forster
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Little did the unsuspecting reader know that even as they were scanning Matt’s review of Stranger Than Fiction, somehow events had been set in motion that would lead to their imminent demise.*
On the surface this is a simple if slightly bizarre story about a man named Harold Crick, oh and his wristwatch and his inevitable impending doom, but actually it’s so much more than that… Stranger Than Fiction is an odyssey about love, life and what it means to really be alive. What it isn’t – is a goofball comedy in which you’d expect to find Will Ferrell, and yet it is a Will Ferrell comedy, just with more brains behind it than his entire catalogue of films up until now. Yes this is a Will Ferrell film for those who would never normally be tempted by his loud brash slapstick style – because in it he shows how funny and powerful it can be to play a role virtually straight faced.
Crick is a taxman who lives a dull existence until one day when he begins to hear a voice only he can hear. This voice is accurately narrating everything he is doing and also letting slip what is about to happen. Understandably perturbed by this turn of events, he is advised to seek help from literary professor Jules Hilbert (an on-form Dustin Hoffman) and things get a bit odder when he realises that he might be a character in someone else’s book. And the great thing is that, he is… It transpires that Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) is the author who created Crick and it is her voice he can now hear narrating his life, whilst she is stuck trying to think of a way to end her book. Things come to a crunch point when the narrator announces that Crick will “die imminently” – unfortunate timing as it happens because he has just fallen for the female baker that he is auditing (played with winning charm by Maggie ‘Secretary’ Gyllenhaal). Is this the end for Harold? Can he survive to find a happy ending when his author is famous for killing off her lead characters? You’ll enjoy finding out...
If you’re in the mood for something different, a film that will make you think as well as laugh and possibly even cry – I’d urge you check out Stranger Than Fiction, for once a film that lives up to its title!?
* just kidding
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö - not action packed but compelling
Laughs öööö – dark and requiring a brain to appreciate...
Horror ö – nail biting ending
Babes ööö – Gyllenhaal is yummy (see below)
Overall öööö (many people probably won't 'get it' but I loved it)
"thinking person's crumpet!?"
Darkmatters: H O M E