Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Whimsical and Inspiring

Filled with witty dialogue and intriguing characters, STRANGER THAN FICTION presents a creative story that not only entertains us but makes us think about our own mortality and the important things in life. This provocative film makes sense out of a whimsical situation that could have been played strictly for laughs but ends up being an inspirational treat instead.

In one of her best performances ever, Emma Thompson portrays an author who wants to kill off one of her characters but cannot figure out how to do it. In fact, she has become an emotional wreck while pondering over the way to end her new book. Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, the character in question, but the catch is that Harold is a real person who starts hearing the author narrate details about his life. Not surprisingly, when Harold discovers that the writer is planning his imminent death, he tries to prevent this from happening.

Ferrell is simply wonderful in this different type of role. He portrays the lonely, uptight IRS agent with such poignancy and sincerity that it becomes easy to hope something will happen to change the fate of his character. And Thompson deserves considerable credit here for letting all her nerve ends show as the chain-smoking writer coming to grips with a dilemma involving deadlines and moral responsibility.

Directed by Marc Forster with the same magical touch he brought to FINDING NEVERLAND, STRANGER THAN FICTION won me over completely. However, I believe the best thing about this exceptional film is the writing. Zach Helm, a relative newcomer, has created an impressive script which I hope will be honored come Oscar time. STRANGER THAN FICTION is a very special movie indeed. Please do not miss this one.

To read my full review, go to


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