In the Realms of the Unreal Reviews

Page 3 of 4
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
January 20, 2005
Assembled from public records of the artist's orphaned youth, as well as priceless footage of Darger's recently dismantled home, a place brimming with eBay-worthy treasures from his childhood.
Top Critic
Alan G. Artner
Chicago Tribune
January 20, 2005
The best way for a film to acknowledge the specialness of painting is to get out of its way and present it unaltered, whereas Yu uses it as raw material to be moved around, sometimes so crudely as to resemble the credits for Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 12, 2005
A singular and haunting experience.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
Variety
December 30, 2004
If In the Realms of the Unreal does indeed make the leap from fest circuit to arthouse exhibition, defenders and detractors doubtless will produce reams of contentious reviews and essays.
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
December 30, 2004
A fascinating examination of a mysterious life and the truly bizarre art that it spawned.
Jurgen Fauth
About.com
December 26, 2004
Usatisfactory and airless. The unreal stays out of the film's reach.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide
December 22, 2004
An astonishingly complex, striking original portrait of an artist whose deeply personal art, intended for no one but God and himself, demands to be treated on its own terms.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John McMurtrie
Miami Herald
December 22, 2004
A thoughtful and inspired exploration of the man's life and leaves the viewer with a sense of wonder about the lives of countless people with unknown talents that deserve recognition.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
December 22, 2004
Using Darger's own drawings (some of them animated by the filmmakers) and words, as well as interviews with the few people who came in contact with him, Yu presents a compelling, somewhat disturbing portrait of the artist.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
New York Times
December 21, 2004
Darger is one of the world's best-known outsider artists, but the fact that no one interviewed in In the Realms of the Unreal, Jessica Yu's excellent new documentary on his life and work, can agree on how to pronounce his name speaks volumes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Chris Barsanti
Filmcritic.com
December 21, 2004
deserves something much stranger, far more unreal
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Ed Park
Village Voice
December 21, 2004
Jessica Yu's elegant new doc In the Realms of the Unreal is a spry, creative response to his oceanic talent and claustrophobic life.
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
December 21, 2004
This documentary is admirable in refusing to force conclusions, but aside from a pleasing presentation of Darger's repetitious art, is it worth the effort?
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine
December 16, 2004
The corny animated sequences represent merely the most questionable formal tactic of a deeply cagey and secretive film.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Annlee Ellingson
Boxoffice Magazine
November 14, 2004
One leaves the film with a sense of awe and hope at what can be accomplished with determination and focus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Eric D. Snider
EricDSnider.com
August 21, 2004
He was child-like, his writing was unpolished and quaint, and both are preserved in this gratifying, poignant documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jon Popick
Planet Sick-Boy
August 21, 2004
Yu deconstructs Darger's life with an amazing aptitude that doesn't come close to overstaying its welcome.

Film Threat
December 6, 2005
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

Empire Magazine
July 29, 2005
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

Baltimore Sun
February 25, 2005
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Page 3 of 4