Friday, December 15, 2006

Movie of the Week - Stranger than Fiction

Staring: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah, Dustin Huffman
Premise: Harold, an IRS auditor, is far from your typical dude. Numbers and analysis are his life, and he leads a very ordered and lonely existance. All this changes one day when he starts hearing a voice - one that narrates his life and even things going on in his life he does not know about. Then one day, the voice pronounces his lack of knowledge about his impending death.
Review: Talk about real life intruding into fiction! lol. Quirky, sometimes deep, this was a fun, and for me as a writer, disturbing film. There are a lot of really neat things they do in this movie, all centered around Harold, like popping spreadsheets and numbers beside his head as he goes through his analytical thought processes. A more pathetic exitance than Harold's would be hard to find, other than possibly the writer, Karen Eiffel. She's been stuck on how to finish a book for years. And somehow it is this very book that ends up being a mirror of Harold's life. Yet the narrating commentary helps Harold break out of his old life and actually start living as he realizes things he's known all along but never noticed. I think one of my most favorite scenes was when Harold stood in the IRS filing room and the narrator talks about how he stood there listening to the sound the file folders made, like waves washing onto the shore. Then if you listened, they did indeed sound exactly like it. It was a beautiful moment. And watching Karen deal with the fact her ending would affect someone real and the decision she makes between possibly her best work ever and humanity, is quite poignant. I think the only thing that soured this little tale for me was the bad editing with regards to the sound boom. I swear it intruded into the film in 3 to 4 different places and totally threw me out of the fantasy, which was rather sad. Since I am a born sucker, I was crying my eyes out by the end. heh. ***1/4!!!

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