Queen & Slim
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
how am i not myself...
My favourite existential comedy of all time. Suddenly the cosmic order all seems to make sense, thanks to strong ensemble performances from Huppert, Tomlin, Schwartzman, Hoffman, and Wahlberg. Naomi Watts is adorable, Jude Law achieves a stirling job of being a complete tool.
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. You have to be a questioner of reality to enjoy this movie. The run of the mill person who thinks Transformers is a great movie will be completely lost. To the dreamers, the philosophers, the questioners, the thinkers, the wanderers, this will delight you and make you laugh your ass off as it mocks the issues of existence itself - which is of course absurd.
I so wanted this film to work but I found that in between the moments of great clarity and Kaufman-esque humor the film got lost in pretention and tonal imbalances. In trying to watch every film directed by David O. Russell, so far I have seen Spanking the Monkey (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Three Kings (1999), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Hustle (2013) and Joy (2015), I realized that he has an uneven filmography but so far this is the only film that stands in the middle. At times I think the film reaches the heights it is aiming for and overcomes it's significant flaws but it ultimately left me wanting more and I wish that more time had been spent editing and refining the ideas that the film was trying to send.
Environmental activist Albert Markovski, Jason Schwartzman, is having an existential crisis due to the fact that he repeatedly witnesses a young African man. He heads to existential therapists Vivian, Lily Tomlin, and Bernard Jaffe, Dustin Hoffman, for help but soon finds their unorthodox methods to be invasive as he is embarrassed by businessman Brad Stand, Jude Law, who heads Huckabees, a corporation that will build on a marsh that Albert is attempting to defend. The Jaffes become involved in Stand's life too as he and his spokeswoman girlfriend Dawn Campbell, Naomi Watts, upend their usual lifestyles to answer existential questions. Meanwhile Albert finds a close friend in the bereft Tommy Corn, Mark Wahlberg, as they become patients of the Jaffes' former protégé Caterine Vauban, Isabelle Huppert, a relationship jeopardized when Albert and Vauban start sleeping together. Eventually Albert and Stand come to terms with one another as Albert and Corn finally answer their questions about existence.
What endeared me to the film so much was the performances of the actors as Watts, Law and Wahlberg do some of their best work. Law rises above the smarmy romantic lead he usually played at this time, he doesn't do it for me in The Holiday (2006) and Cold Mountain (2003), and plays a smug asshole who slowly comes to understand just how shallow he is. Watts is fabulous as the girlfriend and she's one of the few who seems to really get the over the top style of acting she needs to employ, she would fit right in to a screwball comedy from the 1930s. Finally Wahlberg shows that he is a very able comic actor as he does a considerably better job than he did in Three Kings at playing the man who thinks he is above everything who really looks ridiculous to those around him. His utter lack of self awareness and self righteous indignation mean he fits the role like a glove. Tomlin, Huppert and Hoffman are fine but we've seen them play these roles before and they don't inject their scenes with the same palpable energy that's present in the scenes between the younger actors.
Where the film loses itself is when it gets caught up in scenes of characters delivering dialogue that sounds like it has been transplanted from a Rhonda Byrne book and yet we are meant to take it seriously. The truly comedic scenes such as those where the detectives hold a dinner party and introduce Albert and Corn to one another are where the film really takes flight. When the film decides that it actually is a smart existential drama it becomes tiring watching such outrageous characters and being asked to care for them as though they are realistic figures. I didn't care for being told the sort of platitudes that you can find on Tumblr everyday in a multimillion dollar production featuring Academy Award nominated actors.
This is a film that I would recommend if you want to see unexpectedly fantastic performances from Watts, Wahlberg and Law but if you're looking for zany David O. Russell comedies watch Spanking the Monkey or Flirting with Disaster. A lot of films feel as though if just a little more focus had been directed towards the finished product they could be masterpieces but sometimes you are left with a messy, overstuffed film that will not be everyone but when watched with patience can be rewarding.
I loved this movie when it came out, and I love it more and more every time I re-watch it. There is some low brow humor to counteract the philosophical struggle, but ultimately the movie is about people dealing with recognizing their own psychological issues and how they have allowed those issues to interfere with their treatment of themselves and one another.
The protagonist, Albert, has serious abandonment issues and uses his job as a platform to garner attention and personal accolades. Brad, the antagonist, is trying to escape a mediocre existence and can't not perform a role of what he thinks success should look like. This is especially painful when it comes to the idea of having children. Supporting characters Tommy and Dawn struggle with their own issues as well. Tommy is fixated on the over-reliance on petroleum and the suffering this causes through war, which puts him at odds with everyone in his life as he struggles to reconcile his views on petroleum usage with social norms. Dawn struggles to reconcile her role as a pretty girl (and her socially learned belief that this is paramount) with her disdain for constant attention and her own personal insecurities.
The movie treats these as existential problems, but there is a lot of psychology involved here as well. As each character finally confronts their own insecurities, they learn to see that everyone has insecurities, and theirs are not unique. Ultimately, if they can learn to show compassion through understanding the universality of these feelings ("human suffering"), they can individually be much happier in their own lives and focus on what matters, instead of being waylaid by their own feelings of inferiority.
Genius. I don't know of any other movie that uses humor so well to ask whether the foundation of reality is connection or nihilism.
Horribly attempting to string along a 'larger' than life picture. Slap comedy BS. Good cast but nothing redeeming about the final result. Completely uninspiring and a torture to finish, I regret not taking a mud bath myself instead of wasting my time watching this.
A clever, funny farce with an excellent cast.
This was too well received. It was too easy to watch, contained a lot less sustainable provocation than it needed and asked too much of the audience.
Fantastic movie, you have to ignore the pretentious wanky critics who've never read nor understood existential philosophy and just enjoy it. Compare it to any other American movie and the rest would pale Iin depth and texture. Possibly the best movie If all time.