In the Realms of the Unreal Reviews

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Jay Antani
Cinema Writer
August 17, 2010
could've been riveting stuff if only its subject was half as interesting as its approach
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
June 3, 2008
The camera is too eager to swim in the artist's sea, but it might've revealed more if it had paused to let our imaginations provide the movement, as Darger's presumably did.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
It was Yu's mistaken belief that experts would detract from her intimate approach that gives the film its tenuity, the lingering sense that far too little has been explored.
Marc Mohan
Oregonian
May 27, 2005
Fascinating, if flawed.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 20, 2005
A stylistic triumph and a sad but also romantic depiction of an artist in his purest state.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Steve Schneider
Orlando Weekly
May 19, 2005
Instead of stooping to armchair psychology, this marvelous movie trusts its fascinating subject matter to spin its own web of mystery and melancholia.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
May 13, 2005
Alternately enlightening and frustrating.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
May 6, 2005
Suggests only that Darger's inner life was rich but came out in simple and unfocused art. . . . What Darger needs isn't fan fiction, but insightful analysis and criticism.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 21, 2005
The best thing about In the Realms of the Unreal are the sequences in which Darger's drawings, of epic battles and pigtailed heroines, are gently animated -- the pictures brought to life with subtle, fluttering motion.
| Original Score: 3/4
Lance Goldenberg
Weekly Planet (Tampa, FL)
April 20, 2005
...a fascinating sort of connect-the-dots that allows us to essentially piece together our very own personalized portrait of this most curious of artists.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
April 15, 2005
It is an engrossing introduction to the artist and his work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jeffrey Bruner
Des Moines Register
April 15, 2005
Fails to shed much light on this odd, reclusive man or his art.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
April 8, 2005
Walks the line between being just creepy enough to be interesting and being completely disturbing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Greg Wilson
Film Threat
April 5, 2005
In Darger's apartment, the surreal became real, and a testament to the life's work of a simple man.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
April 1, 2005
Can the secret life of the mind be as worthwhile as the 'real' life a person shares with others in the physical world?
| Original Score: 3/4
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
March 31, 2005
A biographical portrait of a man who spent his life muttering to himself in a language only he could understand.
| Original Score: 3/4
Phoebe Flowers
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
March 31, 2005
Jessica Yu's documentary manages the uneasy feat of being both inspiring and disturbing.
| Original Score: 3/4
Jesse Paddock
culturevulture.net
March 21, 2005
Director Jessica Yu makes the case that it's tough to know much about Darger with certainty.
Eric Melin
Lawrence.com
March 14, 2005
By bringing Darger's paintings to life with movement, voices, and sound effects, the audience is allowed to step into "The Realms of the Unreal."
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Larry Ratliff
San Antonio Express-News
March 11, 2005
In the Realms of the Unreal is a post-mortem salute to a prolific artist who lived meekly and took his epic achievement to the grave.
| Original Score: 3/4
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