A Quiet Normal Life

A life lived half in Atlanta, half in London

Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Posted by brendanstallard on October 20, 2006

Man Of The Year

This is a Robin Williams movie, nothing specially wrong with that, but I rather object to movies where the star is front and centre through the entire movie. I think it gives the actor far too much power over proceedings.

Actors need vanity, it goes with the nature of the job. Like a prosecutor needs to be a bastard with massive ego, actors need to be vain and self centred. Hence they need direction. I’m okay with them being directors, when they can clearly bring the knowledge and experience of being in front of the camera to the back of it. Where it mostly doesn’t work, with a few honourable exceptions, is when they alternate between directing and acting at the same time.

Robin Williams is a bit of a curates egg, but kudos to him, he can act and he can be damn funny. He’s not quite my cup of tea, but I respect his abilities especially as his appearance isn’t exactly top drawer film lead.

“Man of the year” follows a fictional and popular television comedian who decides to stand for president following the intervention and suggestion of an audience fan at one of his shows.

Its a comedy with quite a lot of serious undertones, although rather simply drawn, it is well put together and gives its lessons in an appealing way. The director, Barry Levinson, clearly thinks that the win of George W Bush in 2000 was a massive injustice and the dialogue of the movie clearly reflects that opinion, making many references to the debacle in Florida and the entire plot of the movie is drawn on a computing conspiracy.

The metaphor of the comedian, elected on a computer error is clearly pointed at Dubya, and is somewhat late, but enjoyably pursued.

Laura Linney was terrific and mesmerizing, a welcome return to form in a decent movie after the dreadful “Squid and the Whale”. Christopher Walken was his usual excellent self, completely convincing and the rest of the ensemble produced decent performances. I was very happy to see Jeff Goldblum back in the saddle, he’s a fine actor and has plenty of life in him.

The whole thing was a nice, fairly serious comedy which dragged a bit in the final third. In a year of utterly dreadful films, it wasn’t at all bad.

6/10

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