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Old January 1st, 2014, 09:23 PM
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Default The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Albert, friend L and I went to the late morning showing of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at the Ward Theater.

The movie is about a guy named Walter Mitty who works at Life Magazine in the photo (or negative) archive department and is trying to find a negative that a well respected old-school (as in still shoots in 35mm film and doesn't use cell phones) free lance photographer has sent to Life Magazine but no one can find it. Walter has some clues has to where to find the photographer and he takes a couple of trips to find him while trying to build a relationship with a female co-worker and dealing with hostile new boss. Plus the fact from time to time Walter zones out while daydreaming of what he wants to do in outrageous ways , like impressing the female co-worker or beating the daylights out of the hostile new boss.

There are some funny parts to the movie, the visuals on the first trip looked really neat and the second trip wasn't that bad.

Last edited by helen; January 1st, 2014 at 09:29 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2014, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I fins myself more fascinated thinking about the film than I was when actually watching it. Very well done, should grab a few Oscars.
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Old January 20th, 2014, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Ben Stiller, Kristin Wiig, Sean Penn, Shirley MacLaine, Patton Oswalt. Directed by Ben Stiller.

The title character in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (played by Ben Stiller) manages photo negatives for Life magazine, which is about to cease print publication and become an online-only entity. One of the magazine’s famed photographers submits an image he feels very strongly should be the final cover, but Walter has uncharacteristically misplaced the negative. Using some of the photographer’s other photos as clues, Walter deduces that Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) is in Greenland, and desperately gets on a plane to track him down so that he might get a replacement.

He’s a plain, soft-spoken man who harbors a crush on a co-worker named Cheryl (Kristin Wiig), who is recently divorced and seems drawn to Walter’s shyness and sincerity. He also has a tendency to daydream, his imagination taking him on flights of fancy he’d never attempt in real life, but this missing negative is important, and he is spurred to action by a daydreamed imagining of Cheryl singing “Space Oddity” while he flies away on a helicopter.

All my favorite film critics have given this film mixed reviews, liking certain things but feeling let down about others, and I have to say I don’t really get it. Walter is a fully realized character, impossible not to like and admire, and he is surrounded by good people who seem to tolerate his weirdness because he’s such a good man. Sure it’s a leap (pun intended, but you won’t get it until you see the movie) to think a David Bowie song could inspire him to do far greater things than his daydreams could ever propose, but we make that leap willingly because Walter needs something drastic, and we need it for him.

Perhaps I was especially vulnerable, seeing this film just a few days after my forty-fifth birthday following a year in which I was preoccupied by death, but every one of those critics is older than me and surely they must have known what it’s like to be in Walter’s place, if not professionally or romantically, in some other way. Stiller’s low-key, don’t-make-waves goodness is the kind of disposition a lot of us would imagine ourselves to have, and the only difference between us and Walter is that Walter listens to his daydreams.

There is a strange scene near the end of the film in which Walter meets a counselor from eHarmony, a guy who has been encouraging Walter to spice up his online profile so that others might find it interesting. To a walking mid-life-crisis like me, the scene is like a little alarm clock in the way it’s presented, the kind of thing maybe I’d normally dislike, but it seems to break the fourth wall and say, “Now what?”

I don’t honestly know what now. We don’t know for sure that things are going to be different for Walter, but darn it: he’s doing something. And where The Secret Life of Walter Mitty succeeds is in its ability to bring us into its main character and then dare us not to make it just a movie. The critics seem to say it hasn’t earned that, but I would beg to differ.

A gently moving, beautiful-to-look-at, low-pressure inspiration of a film.

8/100 (IMDb rating)
83/100 (Criticker rating)
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