Sunday, May 4, 2008

Stranger than Fiction

“Stranger Than Fiction” is, I can’t really pinpoint what genre it is, 2006 release starring Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah. I am serious that this is a very weird genre and I can’t believe that this is a comedy/drama.

Like the title suggests the story shown in this thought provoking movie, is indeed stranger than fiction. Harold Crick is a very boring person, whose whole life is dictated by one super weird mathematical routine, which involves counting things. His job at the local IRS makes him even more boring. However one morning he starts his usual routine, when he hears a woman’s voice narrate exactly what he is doing, but in a very erudite way. At first he thinks he is going insane so he visits a shrink, but then directs himself to a literature professor in order to find in what story he is character. Later on we learn that the author plans Crick’s imminent death, which triggers a life altering change in his life. He starts to live like he should have, making his dreams come true and finds even love. In the mean time he discovers who the author is tracks her down. The ending is emotional as the author meets her character and with the ending of his death still not typed, the question is posed: Will she do it? Now I am not telling. Too much of a spoiler.

Oh, I can’t simply explain how much this movie can move a person dedicated to the written word, whether he/she be a writer, reader or author. The reason I mainly blog about this movie is that there is a hint of paranormal: Harold Crick hearing the author at work, which is basically reality intertwining with fiction, one pushing the other. Of course it is connected with literature. Questions pop up and are answered by other people like “What if characters in literary fiction were really real and authors happened to influence their lives. Will they still kill them knowing that they were real? Would assured success tempt them to sacrifice a person for one priceless mark in the world’s library”, while other questions concern human features like bravery in the face of death (knowing that you would die , having the power to stop it and yet don’t all in the name of something of more value aka good literature). The value of life is mainly weighed here and just how people don’t cherish what they have and try to live it at their fullest, when the outcome is near.

The cast was amazing, all big names in the movie field. I usually despise Will Farrell, but he played his character Harold Crick with lots of dedication, further shaping the sap into a believable character, with whom you can sympathize. Emma Thompson is the melancholic author Karen Eiffel and her sad voice with a hint of desperation works quite well for the dramatic part of the film. Besides if you were in a tragic novel, you would want her British voice to sound, while you face death. Dustin Hoffman with his sparky personality adds to the humor as Professor Jules Hilbert, the literature expert. Maggie Gyllenhaal as the baker Ana Pascal is the complete opposite of Harold and adds to the comic atmosphere.

This is so far the best movie I have watched for 2008, even though it’s released in 2006. I feel so luck this year in the movie and book department. I give it a well deserved 10!


Sara J. said...

I loved Stranger Than Fiction as well, especially the way they used animations and numbers to assist the story, especially in the beginning. Brilliant! And the "flours"... *wistful sigh* :)

daydream said...

That movie certainly left an impact on me for sure. I am glad you liked it as well. Those animations really added something to the book and so did that digital clock. I loved how it went berserk. It's so rare to see something as brilliant as this. ;)

Carl V. said...

I am admittedly a fan of Will Ferrel. His wacky stuff is generally very enjoyable to me. However my appreciation for him kicked up several notches with this film. He was able to dial it down and be such a real and engaging character. The audience cannot help but get drawn into his world and his plight. I am also a fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal and I found her absolutely gorgeous in this film. Not only did I like the character she portrayed but wow, was she enchanting. This movie hits every note perfectly from start to finish and is such a perfect combination of what film and books can do. I am a book lover and so enjoyed this film on so many different levels. I have watched it again and again and it is one of those films that I recommend to people often. At least twice I have had people over specifically to give them their first taste of this film. I can watch the ending montage over and over again because it is such a beautiful statement about life. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

daydream said...

I agree on what you say! It's like you have read my mind and simply posted my opinion again, but in a better phrased way. Although I don't share the same sympathies about Will Ferrell. It's a movie I myself can watch time and time again.

cj said...

I really enjoyed the movie and it changed my opinion of Will Ferrel a bit.


daydream said...

Mine too for sure. I was reluctant to watch it because of him, but wow it was a pleasent surprise.

Christine said...

I also loved this film. At first I was thinking "okaay... a Will Farrel film," but sat with my husband to watch it just for the quiet time. I was immediately drawn in and truly impressed with the acting talent and the plot. Its one of my favorite films, too.

Very nice review.

daydream said...

Thank you! It was one of the most gripping movies I have ever experienced. It is most memorable.

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