(fr) wrote: Proxy proved to be crazy under all aspects. The promotionals prepared you to some crazy thrills but the movie was just beyond that, everyone is coveting some mental disturb. everyone is having some disorder, and its quite fun to see how this disorders revolves around parenting and nurturing toddlers. I know lot of people disliked it but this was actually a good one for a midnight show.
(ca) wrote: A nice movie, good acting for the most part. It had some nice moments but other scenes didn't keep me very interested. The movie took it's time, and I felt like it needed more for its length. I also felt like there wasn't much of a point or pay-off to watching this film.
(us) wrote: A strong willed British woman takes a job in Siam teaching the children of the king. Good-natured, if not a bit naive, story is anchored by strong acting, and beautiful and elaborate sets.
(ca) wrote: Will Ferrell takes a break from his typical comedic acting in the 2006 film, Stranger Than Fiction. The dramatic comedy also stars actresses Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal and actor Dustin Hoffman. The film follows the life of Harold Crick (played by Ferrell) who is an IRS agent living a predictable life- going through the same routine day in and day out. For the most part, Harold lives solitarily. Harold spends much of his time counting aspects of his life such as the time spent brushing each tooth in the morning and how many steps it takes him to reach the bus stop. All of this precision points to his dependence on his wrist watch which keeps him in step with time. Harold lives a very predictable life, but it is evident that he does not like his job. One morning as Harold is brushing his teeth, he suddenly hears the voice of a woman (Emma Thompson) who seems to be narrating his every move as he goes about doing them. Not only is this woman narrating his every move, but she is also narrating the thoughts in his mind and the emotions that he is feeling. The woman's voice is not prominent all of the time, and so Harold manages to ignore it until the voice says, "little did he know...would result in his imminent death". Obviously, this freaks Harold right out causing him to reach out to a literature professor named Julie Hilbert in search for an answer as to why he has this woman's voice narrating his life. Initially, Hilbert is not at all interested in helping Harold, but when Harold explains that he has heard the words "little did he know", Hilbert is intrigued and agrees to assist Harold. Hilbert's advice leads Harold into courting a baker named Anna Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who he is auditing. Initially, Pascal is absolutely repulsed by Harold, but he is constantly on her mind: their eventual romance is inevitable. Meanwhile the audience of the film learns that the voice in Harold's head belongs to struggling novelist, Karen Eiffel, who cannot craft an ending for her novel due to a lengthy bout of writer's' block. Eiffel is known for ending her books with the death of her main character, and although Harold's story is being pieced together, she cannot find a suitable way for him to die. As the days go on, it becomes more and more evident that Harold's fate lies in the hands of Karen Eiffel, as every word she types becomes reality in Harold's life. This raises several questions. Will Hilbert and Harold figure out that it is Karen writing the story? If they do, will Harold be able to find her? If Harold finds Karen, will she believe Harold? If she believes Harold, will she craft a new ending to her story to save his life? Will Harold survive this bizarre occurrence? One aspect of this film that I particularly enjoyed was that it is evident that the screenwriters took time to carefully develop their plot with the use of symbols. Harold's wristwatch is often shown during the film. The watch symbolizes Harold's desire for order, for being kept on time, for normality. The watch is carefully involved in the ending- it is literally crafted into Harold's either imminent death or survival. Another symbol used in Stranger Than Fiction is the use of the cigarette often against the lips of author, Karen Eiffel. Eiffel is constantly told by her no-nonsense publishing assistant to stop smoking, and is even given a book on how to use a nicotine patch. Eiffel does not stop smoking because even though her assistant says that it may save her life, Eiffel replies that "[she's] not in the business of saving lives". In one particular scene, as she is about to type the fate of Harold, Eiffel fumbles with her lighter and is unable to light her cigarette. This symbolizes her internal struggle: should she kill Harold for the sake of writing a bestselling novel? Or should Eiffel put a relationship ahead of her novel and keep Harold alive? Another aspect of filmmaking that I really appreciated in Stranger Than Fiction is the use of music to demonstrate Harold's development. At the beginning of the movie, Harold is very much focused on living in an orderly fashion. Everyday is the same, and Harold relies on that sameness. The choice of 'techy' background music really reflects this trait of Harold's. When Harold goes to audit Anna Pascal in her bakery, the background music in the bakery has a really punk like feel to it; the music is about 'sticking it to the man'. This is a good choice of music because Pascal has this whole rebellious attitude about her when it comes to paying taxes, and is literally sticking it to the man- Harold- who is auditing her. The music helps to shape the character of Pascal. Harold undergoes a vast change in character as the movie progresses. Both meeting Pascal and dealing with the voice of the narrator in his head cause Harold to begin to reject his obsessive counting and desire for order. He "finally [feels] as if everything is going to be ok" when he takes a bite of a warm cookie that Pascal has made for him. When Harold awakens to the fact that he is part of a bigger story, that he loves Anna Pascal, and that he is going to die eventually, there is a shift in music. Gone is the techy music of the past. The techy music is replaced with a more pop style music that represents a change in Harold. He no longer goes about the same business every day, but instead is trying new things: he is essentially, a new Harold. Overall, I liked Stranger Than Fiction. Yes, it has a bit of a clich ending, but I think it works. It leaves the movie watcher feeling satisfied and it ties up all loose ends neatly. I would recommend this movie to anybody who is looking for a 'feel good' story to watch. There is not a ton of depth to the movie, but I appreciated it because not everything has to have a lot of depth to it. Sometimes, movies are simply good for relaxation. Clich or not , I still think that there is certainly an underlying message to this movie that is worth stating: you and I are part of a larger story. Taking the focus off of our own lives and routines is so important, and when we do, we will be awakened to a whole new world with a whole new set of priorities. Thank you Marc Forster for directing this enjoyable movie that can be used for a scope of purposes and audiences: for those simply wanting to relax and for those being taught to critique films in class.RATE: 3.7 Wristwatches out of 5