Stranger Than Fiction Reviews
The story of how a watch drives the life of a man, and how it saves him. The story of how work is not all in life - and finally of how we can control our own lives.
Ok to watch.
Ferrells well known status adds to the emotional roller coaster that this movie is; without a well known comedic actor like him being the protagonist the movie could easily have been dark and morbid. His performance along with the innocence of the dramatic genre tug the viewers emotions. The viewer is not accustomed to seeing this face being put through such torture; therefore causing the viewers to root for this underdog, new to harm. Farrell also makes good use of scenes in which he does not have lines; his facial expressions and mannerisms portray what they need to perfectly.
The use of music to assist in the plot is also brilliant throughout this film. Punk music is used to describe Ana Pascal. The viewer is aware of this because when Ana is introduced in her bakery, light punk music is playing. The punk music serves as a contrast to the orderly technological sounds that occur whenever Crick is on scene. However as Crick becomes more aware of who he is and the larger story he is apart of the music changes as well. The music softens into a more melodious sound.
Overall the movie was well done for its specific purpose. I however prefer more dark, heart-wrenching tales. I would say on the objective level this film gets ? stars, but on my personal subjective level it would get ? stars.
Stranger Than Fiction is a modern tale taking place in what appears to be a major city. Most of its inhabitants seem to lead fairly uninterrupted lives, that is, apart from Harold Crick. This character, played by Ferrell, is haunted by the ongoing narration of his life; a voice poignantly cast as Emma Thompson. The audience undergoes the impression that he must be going crazy until we actually discover that this British narrator exists in the flesh. She is no longer the voice in Harold's head, she is the voice to Harold's world. The dismality of Harold's life is reawakened when the authoress has him introduced to Ana Pascal (Gyllenhaal), the fiery young baker. Harold's determination to find this elusive narrator, and his interactions with Miss. Pascal lead him on an entertaining path to self discovery, to which he learns that it is perfectly acceptable to live a little; whether it's picking up a mint green guitar and rocking out, making lemon chiffon cake, or going to space camp.
The employment of special effects in the movie affords its viewers an element of fun. The way the meticulous tally of numbered brushstrokes floats above Harold's head as he brushes his teeth, or the levels of a soap dispenser being shown depleted with use in a bathroom; all this serves as a funny way in which Harold's life is closely documented. Not only is it a source of documentation and fun, it is a source of character. This technological display of numbers and shapes are very much like Harold himself, a man obsessed with order and detail. While this film element contributes to fastidiousness, the warmth that we discover in the movie's characters and environment is also developed in a number of other ways.
The comfort of the bakery takes precedence in its warm yellowed hues and gentle lighting, as well as the stonework outside and the beautiful round, wide window. The clutter of the literary critic's office is offset by the towering bookshelves and comfortable nook by the windows, furnished with brown leather chairs and sofas. The warmth of the characters is also expressed, and while Karen Eiffel (Thompson) does not naturally ooze rainbows and good feeling, her assistant, Penny (Latifah), seems capable of taming her wild antics.
It is a film worth enjoying. Nothing entirely brilliant, but the message is encouraging and entertaining. Harold's documentation of comedy vs. tragedy, Ana Pascal's chocolate chip cookies and Jules Hilbert's incessant coffee drinking speak of readily likeable characters, which in turn allows for a very likeable film. On a scale of love to hate, I give it a like, but more of a warm, happy kind of like.