Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 1999) wr. Charlie Kaufman; John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

blurb: A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of the movie star.

Roger Ebert: Every once in a long, long while a movie comes along that is like no other. A movie that creates a new world for us and uses it to produce wonderful things. Forrest Gump was a movie like that, and so in their different ways were MASH, This Is Spinal Tap (1985), After Hours, Babe and There's Something About Mary. What do such films have in common? Nothing. That's the point. Each one stakes out a completely new place and colonizes it with limitless imagination. Either Being John Malkovich gets nominated for best picture, or the members of the Academy need portals into their brains. Roger Ebert.

Brian Tallerico: The movie is surreal precisely because Jonze plays everything straight. The characters are not aware that they're in some kind of distorted reality, gazing through the looking glass darkly. Like Alice, they try to believe three impossible things each day before breakfast. This approach aids in the willing suspension of disbelief, drawing us into the story rather than distancing us and forcing us to gaze at the proceedings from the outside, looking for seams in the plot. Being John Malkovich is one of those rare cinematic experiences that works on one level or another for nearly everyone who sees it. It is a triumphant debut for Spike Jonze. reelviews.

reviews | Garry Gillard | New: 16 February, 2021 | Now: 16 February, 2021