Being John Malkovich (1999)
lol i'm almost 20 years late to the party... again! bow wow.
i've been meaning to watch this for ages, but never got around to it. now that i have - it really is one of those gems. a truly creative, innovative, singular piece of work.
i would be friggin' horrified if i were john malkovich and i got a script like that. i read that he took (LOLOLO) some convincing to agree to play the part - but man, did he show up once he did agree. he really kicks his vanity down the stairs on this one. it's nonexistent. he somehow stays neutral in this vortex of self worshipping, self deprecating, and parodying, and he even manages to act out this profoundly strange scenario very convincingly.
it's also genuinely hilarious. i'd be hard pressed to remember the last time i lol'd at a movie that made me think about such profound things as this movie. i really love how it raises many different topics and sort of comments on them, without having it distract you from the main trajectory of the film. it talks about identity, imprisonment, fetishes, greed, exploitation, justice, relationships, love (mostly the darker side)... probably other stuff that may arise in a second viewing. it's packed with ideas, and just keeps branching out in unexpected ways.
i really wish there were more flat out bizarre films like this. i tremendously enjoy watching a film and having NO IDEA where it's going to go next. Charlie Kaufman's script is just brilliant, probably the first time that i ever really connected with something of his. yeah there's Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind but i thought it was probably a bit overrated. also wasn't a big fan of Adaptation back in the day. will try it again now though.
aaanyway, the casting, apart from john malkovich, is somewhat meh. john cusack sort of works, but i thought his performance was a bit tame. he needed to be more passionate, more creepy, more engaging. instead he just went fully for the 'boring geek puppeteer' angle. cameron diaz was ok, but she was never a fine actress. half the movie i was like, "is that even cameron diaz, or someone similar looking?". catherine keener was good i guess, she just played a very unlikable character. the light shines on john malkovich here, but as said - he does a fantastic job of balancing out all the nutty elements and remaining focused on performance, and not vanity.
why doesn't spike jonze have more films. this is upsetting.
ok then. *claps*. i gotta return some videotapes now. thanks for stoppin' by.