167 of 195 people found the following review helpful
I agree with Roger Ebert- THE film of 1999.,
This review is from: Being John Malkovich (DVD)
Don't get me wrong- I loved American Beauty. I was shocked by The Sixth Sense. I was moved by Magnolia. But for me, the movie in 1999 that made me sit back and say "wow" was Being John Malkovich.
I am sure you know the plot, and words wouldn't help to describe how original (and ingenious) it is. The film works on so many levels- it is a screwball comedy, an existential discussion of the nature of existence, a study of sexual identity, and a satire of the modern desire to "escape" from life. On top of all of that, it is darn entertaining to watch!
The characters (played to perfection but Cusack, Diaz, Keener, and Malkovich himself) are all well-drawn, and the actors do a fantastic job- wait until you see Diaz, unrecognizable in frizzy hair and frumpy dress.
The directing is top notch as well. Spike Jonze (of Three Kings fame) has made a wise choice- he recognizes the script is the star and has directed a film without any flashy camera work, which would detract from the real focal point. That is not to say the work is pedestrian- he did everything that had to be done to make the film, and he did it well (note his Oscar nod for best director).
The production design is a big star here as well. The 7 1/2 floor is almost "Gilliam-esque"- in fact, when I first saw the preview I assumed it was Terry Gilliam's (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) newest film.
The best word to describe this film is "giddy." I saw that because that is what I brought away from it- I felt giddy watching it, and you can teel the cast and crew felt the same making it. The best thing I have read about the film was from a rejection letter from another studio, which neglected to option the screenplay: "I'm sure Being John Malkovich would be regarded as a work of genius on whatever planet it was written." If that doesn't make you want to see the thing, nothing will.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 6, 2011 7:46:44 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2011 8:00:29 PM PDT
J. Cunningham says:
11.5 years later, i agree that is perhaps not the best word.
Posted on Nov 30, 2012 5:41:06 AM PST
Did you really love American Beauty?
Do you still?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 7:14:25 AM PST
J. Cunningham says:
Well, I haven't seen American Beauty in over a decade, so I'm not sure if I still love it. But I don't see why it is so hard to believe I liked it in 2000, when this review was written, since it was pretty much universally acclaimed at the time and had just won a slew of critical awards, not to mention the best picture Oscar.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›